Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Aaron Sorkin and the characters' voice

To Kill a Mockingbird, 2019

Calpurnia declares that the “good people” of Maycomb, Alabama,
entered the court as monsters and left it was murderers,
Atticus says he knows these people,
Calpurnia declares that she knows them better,
Calpurnia challenges Atticus’s defense of Mrs. Dubose:
a woman full of hate-filled prejudice
who is fighting morphine addiction,
Atticus excuses her hate and 
Calpurnia declares that addiction does not excuse her venom,

Harper Lee’s gripping story still works to pull us in,
into a “coming-of-age” tale
where decency and empathy and love
run into the stultifying inertia
of convention, of avoidance, of the tribal,
where the hope that fuels an optimism in the young
can run out of gas when adults look away, and don’t act,

Harper Lee created the characters and the story,
and Aaron Sorkin honors them with even more of their own voice.

by Henry H. Walker
September 14, ‘19

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