Book Review: To Kill A Mockingbird

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This novel was quite tough. I chose to read To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee from my Summer Reading List as my next literary journey. As you can see, this book was well-loved by it’s previous owners, and I bought it from a charity book fair earlier this year. This was my first time reading it though, for some reason my school’s syllabus didn’t include this as prescribed reading. I’m stalling. I know. There’s just so much to say about this Pulitzer winning novel – I don’t really know exactly what to say.

It’s a story of love, family and friendship set in the South of the US in the 1930’s. It’s about the relationship between siblings, and how that friendship changes as one sibling seemingly grows up faster than the other. And about how even though the nature of the sibling friendship changes, the bond remains. It’s about the childlike exploration of the imagination by storytelling. Conjuring up fantasies and demons alike in the mind, all in the name of playing pretend. It’s a beautiful story of the love of a father for his children – and how raising them unconventionally would affect them for years to come. How neighbours help to love and raise these children. It’s about how a young girl can be a rough and tumble little tomboy – but be so adored by the people around her – even capturing the heart of a boy who (I think), would love her until the day she died.

More than that though, it is a story that shows the reader how cruel human nature is. Unflinchingly, the author takes us through the injustices of the automatic judgment passed onto people who are different than ourselves, and the consequences of these judgments. It deals with class. The automatic banding together when others are different than our own class. It also, very humblingly, shows the reader how absurd this bigotry is. The distinction between race, class, occupation or even heritage are redundant when one chooses to look at the person behind these labels, and reveal their true nature and humanity – good or bad.

As always – I am trying not to reveal too much… I can tell you that through the narration of Scout Finch, she tells us the tale of her life. The good, the bad, the heartbreaking and the moments of pure joy. I understood how they were raised by her mannerisms, her attitudes and her actions during what was arguably the toughest, most trying time in their family’s lives. All throughout the novel, I had this complete feeling of foreshadowing – pressing on my heart. And when I couldn’t hold it anymore, I found out. And I wept. The author so very cunningly made me a part of Scout’s story that I couldn’t understand the feelings I was feeling until the very end.

It is an excellent read – but really not a lighthearted novel. I feel enriched as a human being for reading it.

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An Open Letter to David Cameron and the IOC

Hi, friends

My heart is heavy this morning.

I’d like to direct you to this open letter to David Cameron and the IOC, which is Stephen Fry‘s very eloquent reaction on Russia’s anti-gay laws.

I feel ashamed of humanity that we as a people allow this kind of intolerance, cruelty, bigotry – plain inhumanity. I feel ashamed that the global community seems…I don’t even know…afraid… of Putin. If we allow people to commit this type of crime against humanity, what does it say about us, as people? What will historians say about us? Will they taste the bitterness of disgust, as we do when we think of the cruelty suffered by the Jews at the hands of Hitler and his Nazi‘s?

We should be ashamed that we let this happen. Not only in Russia. It happens everywhere. It is astounding. It is disgusting. What is the matter with us? Shame on us. Shame on me. Shame on you.

We need to do more.

http://www.stephenfry.com/2013/08/07/an-open-letter-to-david-cameron-and-the-ioc/

 

I ♥ Neil Patrick Harris

I honestly do. Not only do I think he’s a brilliant actor, but I think he’s a good human being too. Check out the clip below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3Y52kD0G2c

It just goes to show: A gay actor can play a straight man (convincingly) and not be typecast in the industry to just playing gay roles. He plays Barney Stinson, and womanising man-whore in How I Met Your Mother, but he does it so well, you believe he’s straight, and you kinda love his character. He’s Legen….Wait for it…….Dary.

I know this message is getting old now, but I can’t stop until we do something about the hate and intolerance towards homosexual people. I do not understand how this situation escalated so quickly, and frankly, I’m appalled that so many people are just ignoring the issue. Maybe it’s not a case of escalation, maybe it’s just that it’s getting proper media coverage this time. Whatever the case may be, it’s not good enough to just sit around and do nothing.

There is a movement by celebrities making these YouTube videos to spread the message of tolerance and love. These struggling people need to know that it WILL get better. It absolutely will. As with all issues before this, it has to get worse before it gets better. But sooner or later, these hateful bigots will be put in their place as society will no longer accept this cruelty towards other people.

Chin up. You can do it.

If you need help – Ask! There are plenty of people who can help. As always, if you’re living in the USA, I recommend The Trevor Project. They are amazing. I will do some sniffing around to find people to help, all over the world.

Much Love ♥ To everybody!