Sunday, August 31, 2008

There's Just One Kind of Folks

My latest book group selection is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. This is the first time I've read this wonderful book, and I can honestly say that I now consider it to be one of my favorite books. There are so many themes in this book to explore: character, courage, integrity, wisdom, compassion, forgiveness, understanding, friendship, parenting, justice. Harper Lee explores the many ways in which humans create division, not only race but also class, education, family background, and mannerisms. The six year old narrator, Scout Finch, wisely learns "I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks." Her father, Atticus Finch, has guided her to this wisdom through the integrity of his character and how he treats his clients and neighbors, and even the compassion he shows to those who oppose him and seek to harm him. He gives her some words of advice which we all might consider: "if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."


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