Harper Lee’s To kill a mocking bird 

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To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. It was immediately successful, winning the Pulitzer Prize, and has become a classic of modern American literature. It is primarily a novel about growing up under extraordinary circumstances in the 1930s in the Southern United States. The story spans three years, during which the main characters undergo significant changes. Scout Finch lives with her brother Jem and their father Atticus in the fictitious town of Maycomb, Alabama. Maycomb is a small, close-knit town, and every family has its social station depending on where they live, who their parents are, and how long their ancestors have lived in Maycomb.

The story also addresses the racial tension in America. But in order to sift through the many layers of racial prejudice that Lee exposes in her novel, the reader needs to understand the complex history of race relations in the Southern States of America. A simple reference can be the 2016 Hollywood movie Hidden Figures which depicts the racial segregation that existed in America.

There are 2 other serious issues that are dealt with in this book rape and loss of innocence. Both these elements make some parts of the book difficult to read.

A good part of this story’s brilliance lies in the fact that it’s told from a child’s point-of-view. Through Scout’s eyes, Lee is able to present the story objectively. By having an innocent little girl make racial remarks and regard people of color in a way consistent with the community, Lee provides an objective view of the situation. As a child, Scout can make observations that an adult would avoid or sugarcoat. Readers, too, are likely to be forgiving of a child’s perception, whereas they would find an adult who makes these remarks offensive.

This book has left an indelible impression when I re-read it later in life. As a young adult on my first reading I hadn’t comprehended the intensity of this book. It is at a much later age that I realized the cruelty the world is capable of and hence I think the theme of loss of innocence is so crucial as a reader’s experience.

Like all good literature, this book was made into the well-received 1962 film starring Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch.

Go Set a Watchman is a novel by Harper Lee published on July 14, 2015, which was marketed as a sequel but it is really a first draft of this famous novel. I am yet to read it and once I have, I would come back with a review for it.

THE END.

 

Sources: Wikipedia, Cliffnotes, Google ( Image)

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Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings

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An Epic is a long poem, typically one derived from ancient oral tradition, narrating the deeds and adventures of heroic or legendary figures or the past history of a nation.

The book Lord of the Rings is an EPIC by JRR Tolkein, it was first published in 1954. The Lord of the Rings is a book I have treasured. I have gone back to it many times and read parts of it. The book creates a magical ‘other’ world. It is a fantasy world that touches you and transports you there. It consists of three separate books , The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King. After reading it for the first time,  I found it to be a tale of friendship, love and heroism. Over the years I have come to realize that this book became the benchmark for all fantasy fiction/ film to come. Tolkien’s descriptive narrative beautifully depicts Middle-earth and the journey that the Fellowship undertakes will remain with them for the rest of their lives.

I believe this is the best fantasy book of all time. This is the gospel of the genre of Fantasy Fiction. I know Harry Potter fans will jump up against this claim. But know this that the influence of The Lord of the Rings is so universal that everybody from George Lucas to Led Zeppelin has appropriated it for one purpose or another. Not just revolutionary because it was groundbreaking, The Lord of the Rings is timeless. I was introduced to Tolkien before I read his epic, through his work as a distinguished linguist and Oxford scholar of dead languages. Perhaps that is why his epic has a new language in it including a script for it.

During my reading of the epic, I found a couple of themes which were recurring in the 3 parts. The theme of Power which corrupts and becomes and addiction, the one of Fate and triumph of free will , the theme of loss and farewell and of course, courage in the face of insurmountable odds. These make this story so universal and timeless and therefore a classic. In fact, I think the reason LOTR is such a huge influence on contemporary fantasy fiction and popular culture is because of these themes which are timeless and they touch the reader.

The book went onto being adapted into a major motion picture having three parts and it was a feast for the eyes. This is one adaptation where I can say I have not been disappointed with the outcome. I have re watched the entire series many times. There have been occasions when after watching one part I have gone back to reading the book simply because a tiny details which had escaped me in my several viewing had caught my eye. I have often been asked whether reading the book is important in order to understand the movies better. My view on this has been that LOTR the movies is complete in itself and does justice to bring the ‘story’ that Tolkein had written. But, if you want to discover more about this fantasy world that the author had created, reading the book will always leave you in awe of the epic task he had undertaken to bring forth the story.

While talking about LOTR many would bring up the comparison with George R R Martin, another visionary whose epic Game of Thrones has caught on with popular culture. But it is too soon to say whether Martin’s GOT goes onto become what LOTR is, a classic. LOTR has survived more than 60 years and generations have read it finding a fantasy land in it yet finding strains of human struggles and turmoil tugging at their heart while they were invested in the characters of the book. Whether GOT goes on to survive the fanfare partly because it’s TV version is more popular than the book and the fact that Martin has yet to publish his next book ( already delayed), makes me wonder whether this will survive and go on to become a classic. But the comparison aside, I would re-read LOTR any day of the week over any of the GOT books same goes for watching the movie over the TV series.

THE END.

Sources: Wikipedia, Google ( Image).

HUNDRED

This is the hundredth post excluding the aside pieces which aren’t titled with a number. I started this blog in 2013 as a new venture in order to be more creative or like I said earlier to move away from the usual day-to-day commentary that my earlier blogs had contained, to a more structured blog where I took time to talk about things that I like as well as to share some of those favorite. I have not been very regular with the blog, starting and stopping often. It had taken me 3 years to finally reach this post. Initially I was trying hard to push myself to finish the 100th post and complete this venture and move on. But the last few weeks have made me realize that I can do much more with this blog and I honestly feel, capable of adding more things to read on my blog. I won’t deny the fact that there are times when I really want to vent myself rather than type any sensible post, and with time an age I think, one I have developed a better control over myself and two, decided to keep those cribbing for a personal journal.

In the various categories that I created for this blog, many have gone ignored, especially the one on Poetry. It has been years since I have picked up a book of poems and read through, hopefully, in the near future this will change. My last few posts leading up to this 100th post has been about reading books. I have two more books to review after this, in order to complete the 10 book tag which I had begun 3 years ago. Those two books are, The Lord of the RIngs and To kill a mocking bird. So, my 101 and 102 post are already prepared and scheduled for later. However, before they see the light of day I felt it was necessary to prepare a more personal 100th post.

This blog was a conscience decision to flex my creative writing and to test my ability to write within constriction. It has been a good practise, one which I think I will continue. In the off time when I wasn’t blogging about my interests, I was reading a lot of blogs, and this helped me come back. The more I read I realized that blogging had to be an outlet of creative skills rather that only an exercise. So, on the one hand I needed to keep practising how to write on a particular topic along with doing research and on the other hand keep the posts free-flowing and opinionated. I was doing the first part, the research, the planning but when it came to writing ( execution) I was bored. I was only regurgitaitng what I was researching and not really feeling invested in the piece and by the time I got around to verifying the details it had lost its charm for me. I think that is one of the reason the Blog prompts on NaBloPoMo did not work for me. I didn’t feel invested in the topic and it was more of an essay writing than an invested piece.

The other thing that has been a difficulty is garnering enough readers and respondents. People read my blog as I can see from the blog view statistics but they do not leave relevant comments and that is what makes me feel as if I am writing these notes and stuffing them into and bottle and flinging them into the ocean and I don’t know who is fishing one out and whether they are reading it and if they are what are they thinking about it. What astonishes me most is simpler blogs, full of erroneous language and basically sub standard writing is being published online by websites and individual bloggers are being read and liked, whereas compared to those my pieces are more researched, at least not visibly full of mistakes, yet, somehow, the my readership does not seem to grow.

Of course, worrying about it is not going to be of any help. so, I took a  long pending advise from a fellow blogger and registered my blog with a community. I am still waiting to hear from them and who knows this may be the right push that I need to be more regular with my posts.

My blog is not completely separated from my life and hence moments and circumstances of my life does spill over and it is probably what keeps me typing. It is a strange coincidence that just when I am coming back to this blog, life is taking me back to a city where this blog was first created. Perhaps the upcoming experiences will prove to a treasure trove of blog posts.

I would like to end my 100th post with a few words on the people who have helped me come this far. Obviously I would mention my family who have really been the pillars of strength for me and forever reminding me at different times that I need to let my creativity work its charm. My friends, who are kind to me with their encouragement and motivating words that still hasn’t woken me up completely. I just hope they continue to encourage me from time to time so, that finally, I fulfill my life’s dream. And a special thank you to those who share their sub standard writing online which totally does wonders for my lazy ass to get up and start typing. In fact, next to the encouragements, I think, the poor blogs I have to read, is my biggest motivation to keep writing.

THE END.

Upcoming

Join me as I complete that 10 books tag and review the final 2 books on my Blog in the coming week.

  • The lord of the rings
  • To kill a mocking bird

And also the 100th post on my blog. Finally, I am all set to reach the goal in exactly 24 hours.

 

NINETY NINE

11486.jpgAlice Walker‘s world acclaimed novel The Color Purple was published in 1982, it went onto win the Pulitzer Award in 1983. The novel takes place in rural Georgia, the story focuses on the life of women of color in the 1930s. It addressed numerous issues including their low position in American social culture. The novel has some explicit content, particularly in terms of violence. The book has been targeted by censorship because of its explicit content.

But let me come back to why this book is one of my top ten favorite of all time. I stumbled upon this book thanks to my friend, her sister had a heavenly collection of fiction, and I borrowed from her. This book was recommended to me and after reading it, I was left moved. The novel is about the intense connection that is created between the women in the story.

The Color Purple was not an easy book to read, it is not written like most novels. The novel consists of a series of letters, none of which are dated, and in order to have a time frame for the novel. But the Walker leaves clues for the reader and if we read carefully we can figure out the timeline for the story. Roughly, the novel has a time span of about forty years. The other difficulty in reading this novel is the language Walker uses. Some of the letters are not written in standard English, it has a dialect which is closer to folk language. It is awkward to read it initially.

The novel is as I said, about relationships among these strong women, five of them actually, and they have a lot of courage. They refuse to be beaten into submission. The story is really about those two things, Courage and Strength and how Love sustains the women through trying times. The connection established between the reader and the protagonist is based on understanding suffering and the need for compassion.

As a side note to this I had watched a student production of The Color Purple adapted into play when I was in college and honestly too horrified by it. It had hurt my senses. But reading the book at a later age it was a revelation, because the book required more compassion and understanding which I didn’t have at the earlier age.

I always wanted to understand why this book was named the way it was, and why the color purple is significant. Logic dictates it should be Black but it is not. I think the reason it’s the color purple and not any other is because in nature the color purple is rarer than the colors and we see it we do stop and look at in awe and wonder. Perhaps just like the color purple in nature, we may want to also look at out life, and take a minute to enjoy the rare moments of wonder, joy, happiness. May be in the bigger scheme of things the rare moments are like signs from a higher power to remind us that we are loved.

THE END.

Sources: Wikipedia, Google ( Image), Sparknotes