Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Tribute to Harper Lee, "Mockingbird"

Today's Patriot News of Harrisburg has a great op-ed on one of my all-time favorite novels- Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. The author captures well the ties between the novel and today's struggles.
Lee's work is representative of the larger struggle of people who are different in some way from those in power -- a different race, a different sex, a different sexual orientation, a different class -- trying to grab their piece of the pie. Despite the wonders of democracy, a constant struggle between the status quo and the marginalized will always endure. To Kill a Mockingbird implores us to give a voice to the marginalized in this struggle.

The fight that Atticus Finch boldly took up in To Kill a Mockingbird continues every day in much less visible ways -- the players may change, but the game remains the same. Seneca Falls, "I have a dream," a gay-pride parade, Hurricane Katrina -- all are part of the same struggle. The battle to get and hold onto power in a democracy -- the quest for a voice -- is the most basic freedom to express, but often it becomes the hardest battle to win.

Andy in Harrisburg

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