06 Jun George Floyd: The legacy of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ continues (unfortunately)
Sure, ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ (TKAM) is a product of it’s time, but many of the lessons it teaches, still hold weight in the world we live in. Racism, is an obvious such theme. In the recent incident of the killing of George Floyd, America faces an uproar. The African American died in Minnesota after a white police officer kneeled on his neck.
“We are broken-hearted, sickened, and outraged to watch another video of an African American man being killed before our very eyes,“We cannot turn a blind eye to these atrocities and yet still try to profess to respect every human life,” the bishops said. “We wish serve a God of love, mercy, and justice.” This incident is testimony to the presently existent racism in America. The novel aptly illustrated this injustice more than half a century ago and this evil still ceases to disappear. Birth is not a choice, skin color is not a decision, it is a God given characteristic waiting to be acknowledged and appreciated. Another theme echoing even today is societally approved Gender constructs.
In a very subtle way, Scout Finch longs to be treated in the same manner as her brother and does not give in to the position of a girl in the society. She prefers pants over skirts and fails to understand the sexist world she lives in. Yet another point of relevance is the “senseless slaughter of songbirds”. Even today the innocence of ‘mockingbirds’ is destroyed by the ignorance and power of evil forces. The innate goodness of a human being is throroughly evaluated and questioned till the time it ceases to exist. This inborn trust, faith and innocence must be rewarded and acknowledged at some point of time. The novel spotlights prejudice and discrimination stemming from the already established inequalities and pluralities within society. Instead of celebrating our differences, we divide ourselves further and this gives was to more hatred and discrimination. We are also very judgemental about people and often start forming opinions about others without fully understanding their circumstances and conditions. This practice has to end. The central scene of TKAM is that if the courtroom.
The Court of law has to transform into the Court of Justice as soon as possible. There are ample instances where justice hasn’t been served to the common man and to the minorities. As a generation, we are doomed, if we are not able to let righteousness prevail.