It is a Sin to Kill a Mockingbird

When an award-winning novel reflects bitter yet real discrimination and stereotype within the American society in the early 1900s, the critics cannot help but notice. For it does not circle peripherally, but also intrigues human’s ancestral root—something we cannot despise.

It happens not occasionally that physical attribution i.e skin colour becomes a barrier for someone to grow, even in modern days like, precisely, right now. True, that humans cannot choose their race along with the identity they are entitled with once their eyes see the world. True, that equality is echoed everywhere, that we should pay respect for someone without discriminating them on any levels. However, on practical level, certain perception inevitably invades our mind with negative images, let alone the concept of no prejudice.

So, who is to blame? Probably no one. We can arguably hinder ourselves from having negative thought on someone, but the inner instinct will never leave us unguarded. Or, if we are faced with someone we consider less in terms of social status, the underestimating tendency persists. Crawling back to the previous thought article that relinquishes the paradoxical view that humans are born different yet doubtful when showing differences, To Kill a Mockingbird extrapolates the other side of the coin.

We can arguably hinder ourselves from having negative thought on someone, but the inner instinct will never leave us unguarded. 

The story is narrated by a young girl with a series of experiences in her life that involves her lawyer father defending a black man accused of raping white girl, her brother and his friend piling up outlandish curiosity for their eccentric neighbour, and her honest yet ironically bitter truth about growing up as a decent, young white woman in the era. It highlights how the society’s perception, whether it serves law rightfully or not, prevails—that a black man will always be accused of the crime and seated secondly (during that time). People could turn their back away from the truth just for the sake of maintaining the feeling of superiority.

Harper Lee, the author, extends the storyline in one unexpected way. She manages to rebound the hope of “world without prejudices” as the secluded person does a heroic gesture for the young girl and her brother. It is always a mixture of relief and slight embarrassment, knowing that the person we thought was awkward and perhaps mean, turns out to be the one who saves our life.

We somewhat need to re-consider our cultural root, for it should be a solid reminder of who we are but does not necessarily define how we should differentiate ourselves with others.

A famous quote taken from the book “shoot all the bluejays you want, but remember, it is a sin to kill a mockingbird,” renders the meaning that someone should never kill harmless and innocent creatures. Mockingbirds are said to be birds who do no harm, thus they should be left undisturbed. In one way another, the quote breathes its meaning through the book, where at some points justice feels dull, overridden by the discrimination and prejudices. Innocent people get harmed is nowadays not a foreign headline, a fact that leaves us questioning whether we have get passed through the stages of categorizing and putting people in rank.

By the end of the day, different background and identity we have shall not be a limitation to interact with one another. We somewhat need to re-consider our cultural root, for it should be a solid reminder of who we are but does not necessarily define how we should differentiate ourselves with others. Stay different for the unique soul preposition you have, but abandon the prejudices and embrace cultural differences. You might never know when your negative opinion on someone turns amiss, for we are born differently but equally.

 

Text: Gabriela Yosefina.
Image: here.