To Kill a MockingbirdHarper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird inspired me by its stunning portrayal of human behavior. Two events stand out: 1. an entire town is afraid of a man simply because his parents made a conscious decision to lock him in their house as a punishment; 2. a majority of the town condemned a black man for a crime he did not commit because the alleged victim was white. Both actions by the town show a common human trait to separate certain people from our midst and condemn them because they are different in some way from us; therefore, they are to be feared. However, justice cannot be obtained unless we rise above the “crowd mentality,” as did Atticus Finch, and look at each person objectively and regard their similarities to ourselves, rather than focusing on their differences.
From Books That Inspire 2002.