Friday, 19 February 2016

To kill a Mockingbird shaped my life: Harper Lee's death a very sad day

There are few novels that compare to To kill a Mockingbird. I read it and it inspired me to be a criminal defence lawyer. Atticus Finch is the man we all would like to be. His daughter Scout is one of the great commentators of literature as she describes everything from race to injustice, parenthood to tolerance. V sad at the passing of Harper Lee, the author.
The book is the one I continue to give as presents to friends, staff and young people as a gift. It is tough to pick out quotes from an iconic novel but try these for size:

"I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It's when you know you're licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what."
- Atticus Finch

"We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe- some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they're born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others- some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of men.

But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court."