Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My favorite movie, "to Kill a Mockingbird"

Warning... SPOILERS below...

I am sitting here at work watching the movie, "To Kill A Mockingbird".  I love both the movie and the book.  I never get tired of this story, never.

The characters are so rich and interesting.    The fact that the story is told by a girl always appealed to me.  Even though she has an older brother, we are treated to life from Scout's point of view.

The story is played out in little vignettes that make you want to know these people... you want to BE these people.  One of my favorite scenes in the movie is when Scout is flabberghasted at Walter Cunningham when he douses his entire dinner with molasses.  When Calpurnia orders Scott into the kitchen you can tell by the look on her face that she is knows that she is in for trouble.  And, she is.  Calpurnia tells her in no uncertain terms that she is to be polite to company, no matter who they are.  Atticus later explains to Scout that to be cruel to a person that is harmless and powerless compared to you is like "killing a mockingbird."  He tells her that a mockingbird has no other purpose but to be a pretty bird and sing for us.  There are quite a few of these "mockingbirds" in our story, Calpurnia, Tom Robinson, even the pathetic Mayella Ewell.

The children spend the entire story terrified of their "maniac" neighbor, Boo Radley and his father.  We, as observers, know that there is a much more sinister force threatening these children, the powerful force of  ignorance combined with prejudice embodied in the character, Bob Ewell.  Mr. Ewell is not the only ignorant man in their world.  This is revealed in the showdown between Atticus and several of the men of their town outside the courthouse the night before Tom Robinson's trial.  It reveals that there are many people who agree with Bob Ewell's thinking.  It is not so much the fact that Atticus has been appointed Tom Robinson's attorney that angers these men.  They are shocked and angered at the fact that Atticus actually does intend to put on a real defense of Tom.  The story of what becomes of Tom Robinson is so needless and sad.  It is clear that Atticus has proven that Tom is innocent and Mayella's own father is the real criminal.  But, the men on the jury could and would never be able to admit this... and so, Tom Robinson is found guilty and ultimately loses his life. Scout's assessment of these things is a simple, "Entanglements are bad..."  And, indeed they are. 

The most unlikely "mockingbird" of all turns out to be the one the children spend the movie fearing, Boo Radley.

Praying today for:
The nation of Venuzeula
The state of Utah

Remember, Nana loves you.

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