To Kill a Mockingbird

In 1962 Gregory Peck starred as Atticus Finch in the film version of Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel. Nearly half of a century later, this film is still one of the best of all time. I watched it again this morning.

The film is a great portrayal of southern culture in the 1930’s. The story is set in 1932 in Alabama. The title comes from Atticus teaching his kids, Jim and Scout, that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird. As compared to other birds, the mockingbird only provides us with music. The mockingbird sings. It doesn’t destroy property or harm.

In the movie this is contrasted to an injured and dangerous dog that Atticus has to put down. All of this is related to the members of the small Alabama town. A black man is falsely accused of raping a white woman. Atticus defends him in court. The black man, Jim, is a symbol of the mockingbird. He does no harm, but only provides for society. The mentally challenged neighbor, Boo is also portrayed in a mockingbird role. The false accuser is portrayed like the rabid dog. Society is better off without this one who provides nothing but trouble.

In all, an interesting movie with great moral imagery.