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To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee


Title: To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee Author: Rich Dowler Last modified by: Rebecca Tyree Created Date: 8/27/2011 3:05:58 PM Document presentation format – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
  • To Kill a Mockingbird is a largely
    autobiographical novel by Harper Lee.
  • Biography-the story of someones life
  • Autobiography- story of someones life, told by
    that person

About the Author
  • Harper Lee
  • Born Nelle Harper Lee, April 28, 1926
  • Grew up during the Great Depression
  • Grew up in Monroeville, Alabama, in the heart of
    the South, where racial tension was high
  • Her own childhood mirrors that of the character
  • In 1960, she published her only novel-To Kill a
  • It received a Pulitzer Prize for literature in

Life During the 1930s
  • Race Relations
  • Nine black teenagers are falsely charged with
    raping two white women in Scottsboro, Alabama
    eight are convicted and sentenced to death
  • The U.S. Supreme court reverses their convictions
    because their constitutional rights had been
  • The teens are tried for a 2nd time and found
  • The SC reverses their conviction again.
  • Eventually, four of the defendants are freed the
    other five serve prison terms.
  • The last Scottsboro defendant was paroled in
  • It was virtually impossible for a black person to
    receive a fair trial

Life during the 1930s
  • The Great Depression sweeps the nation-Many
    families do not have enough money for basic
  • The per capita income for families in Ala. is
    125-250 a year.
  • Many southern blacks pick cotton for a living.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt is President.
  • Hitler is chancellor of Germany and believes that
    Jews, African Americans and other races are
    inferior to Anglo-Saxons.

Legal Segregation in Alabama, 1923-1940
  • No white female nurses in hospitals that treat
    black men
  • Separate passenger cars for whites and blacks
  • Separate waiting rooms for whites and blacks
  • Separation of black and white convicts
  • Separate schools
  • No interracial marriages
  • Segregated water fountains
  • Segregated theaters

Morphine A Southern Ladys Drug
  • 1930s Typical Morphine Addict
  • White female
  • Middle-aged or older
  • Widowed
  • Homebound
  • Lives in the south
  • Property owner
  • Began using morphine for medicinal reasons
  • In To Kill a Mockingbird, the Finch children will
    come into contact with Mrs. Dubose. She
    personifies the American morphine addicts of the
    late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Narrative Point of View
  • To Kill a Mockingbird is told in the first
    person, from the point of view of Scout
  • The story is not told by the younger Scout. It
    is told by an older Scout looking back.

Autobiographical Elements Harper Lee vs. Scout
  • Born in Monroeville, Alabama
  • Grew up in the 1930s
  • Father was a lawyer
  • Mothers maiden nameFinch
  • Born in Maycomb, Alabama
  • Grew up in the 1930s
  • Father (Atticus) is a lawyer
  • Last nameFinch

Setting of TkaM
  • Setting is a very strong element in TkaM. It is
    linked with theme, character, and plot.
  • Time 1930s, Great Depression era
  • Economic difficulties of this time caused
    problems for all classes of people
  • There was a sharp division between blacks and
  • Place Maycomb, Alabama (1933-1935)-Alabama is
    renown as a site of racial tension Southerners
    in Maycomb continued to believe in white supremacy

What is a theme?
  • Theme The main idea or meaning of a work.

  • Prejudice
  • Friendship
  • Sacrifice
  • Social snobbery
  • Tolerance
  • Equality
  • Need for conscience
  • Maturity
  • Status
  • Morality
  • Patience
  • Need for compassion

Key Issues
  • Tom Robinsons innocence
  • Atticus hidden courage
  • Mob mentality
  • Social classes
  • Mrs. Duboses morphine addiction
  • Jems maturity
  • Jem and Scouts experiences with Boo Radley

Jean Louise FinchScout
  • Six when the story begins
  • Naturally curious about life
  • Tomboy
  • Impulsive
  • Emotional
  • Warm and friendly
  • Sensitive
  • Gains in maturity in the novel

Atticus Finch
  • Father of Scout and Jem
  • A widower
  • An attorney by profession
  • Highly respected
  • Good citizen
  • Instills good values/morals in his children
  • His children call him Atticus
  • Honest
  • Brave
  • Courteous
  • Soft-spoken
  • Typical Southern gentleman

Jem Finch
  • Scouts older brother
  • 10 at the beginning of the novel and 13 at the
  • Very wise for his age
  • Very emotional
  • More easy-going and not as adventurous as Scout

  • The Finchs black housekeeper
  • Has watched the children since their mothers
  • Has been a positive influence on the children

Arthur Boo Radley
  • An adult man, whose father has sentenced him to
    a lifetime confinement to their house because of
    some mischief he got into when he was a teenager
  • Has a reputation of being a lunatic
  • Basically a harmless, well-meaning person
  • Sometimes childlike in behavior
  • Starving for love and affection

Tom Robinson
  • A young, harmless, innocent, hardworking black
  • Has a crippled left hand
  • Married with three children
  • Works on a farm belonging to Link Deas, a white
  • Will be falsely accused of raping a white girl

  • A close friend of Jem and Scout
  • Usually lives in Maycomb only during the summer
    with his aunt
  • Tell big stories
  • Has been deprived of love and affection

Aunt Alexandra
  • Atticus sister
  • Wishes to make Scout behave like a lady
  • Doesnt approve of Atticus defending a black man
  • Concerned how Finch family is seen in the

Two Poor White Families
  • The Cunninghams
  • Poor white family
  • Hard-working
  • Honest
  • Proud
  • Survive on very little
  • Always pay back their debts-even with hickory
    nuts, turnips, or holly
  • The Ewells
  • Poor white trash
  • Dirty
  • Lazy
  • Good-for-nothing
  • Never have done a days work
  • Foul-mouthed
  • Dishonest
  • Immoral

The Black Community
  • Simple
  • Honest
  • Clean
  • Hard-working
  • God fearing
  • Proud
  • Would never take anything without paying it back
  • Respectful
  • Had stronger character than most whites
  • Oppressed
  • Uneducated
  • Discriminated against
  • Talked about badly
  • Deserve better than what is dished out to them by

  • Sometimes the language of Scout will be that of
    her as a child other times, she will be speaking
    in the voice of an adult
  • Atticus uses formal speech
  • Calpurnia uses white language in the Finch
    house and switches to black jargon when amidst
  • The Ewells use foul words and obscenities
  • Jem, Scout, and Dill will use slang words,
    typical of their age
  • Tom Robinson uses language typical of the
    southern black such as suh for sir and
    chillun for children
  • Various derogatory terms will be used-Lee uses
    such language to keep her novel naturally in sync
    with the common language of the times

  • Somber
  • Serious
  • Humorous (at times)

  • The Mockingbird symbolizes everything that is
    good and harmless in this world.
  • It only sings to please others and therefore is
    considered a sin to shoot the mockingbird. They
    are considered harmless creatures who give joy
    with their songs.
  • The mockingbird image/symbol appears four times
    in the novel.
  • Only two characters in the novel symbolize the