Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Remembering the Power of Advocacy.

Recently whilst re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird, this 1960's novel by Harper Lee reminded me about the necessity of advocacy. The well known story is told from the point of view of the six year old daughter of Atticus Finch, a lawyer in Maycomb, Alabama. It's set in a fictional small town in the Deep South of the USA.
To the consternation of Maycomb's racist white community, Atticus agrees to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who had been accused of rape. He did so because of he felt strong sense of morality to try and save Tom from unfair prosecution. Throughout Atticus is a guiding light for his children, and teaches them that one should not dwell on the fact that evil exists, but should instead realize that the existence of evil is a sign that there is work to do, and progress to make. Despite Atticus providing clear evidence that the accusers are lying, and significant evidence pointing to Tom's innocence, the all-white jury convicts him. The innocent Tom later tries to escape from prison and is shot to death.
Quotation from the book:
"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it"

Quotation from Gregory Peck whilst playing Atticus Finch:
“I put everything I had into it – all my feelings and everything I'd learned in 46 years of living, about family life and fathers and children. And my feelings about racial justice and inequality and opportunity.”

1 comment:

simon said...

my favorite film....