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To Kill a Mockingbird


To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee Author s Notes Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroe Alabama. She was the youngest of four children Father was ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird
  • By Harper Lee

Authors Notes
  • Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926 in
    Monroe Alabama.
  • She was the youngest of four children
  • Father was Amasa Coleman Lee, a lawyer. Mother
    was Frances (Finch) Lee
  • One of her childhood friends was Truman Capote.
    She lived next door to him from 1928-1933.
  • Truman Capote is said to be the fictitious
    character, Dill in her novel.

Essential Question
  • Throughout history, how has the concept of
    justice changed in the eyes of Americans?

Gallery Walk
  • Justice
  • Family
  • Prejudice
  • On a sheet of paper, write down one powerful
    quote describe one powerful image for each
  • Will share with your group
  • Which area was the most thought-provoking And why?

Authors Notes Continued
  • Harper Lee graduated high school and attended
    Huntingdon College, a private school for women in
    Montgomery, for a year (1944-45) prior to
    transferring to the University of Alabama.
  • In 1947 she enrolled in the universitys law
    school, later spending a year as an exchange
    student at Oxford University.

Authors Notes Continued
  • She withdrew in 1949, six months before she would
    have received her law degree and moved to New
    York City to pursue a writing career.

Authors Notes Continued
  • In New York, Lee worked for the airlines. During
    this time she wrote several essays and short
    stories, none that were ever published.
  • An agent encouraged her to expand one of her
    short stories. Receiving financial support from
    her friends, she quit the airlines and spent her
    time writing To Kill a Mockingbird, the only book
    that Lee ever published.
  • Her father was ill during the time she wrote the
    book, spending most of her energies traveling
    from NY to Monroeville.

Authors Notes Continued
  • Although the novel is not a strictly
    autobiographical account of her childhood, Lee
    certainly has drawn from those experiences as a
    basis of setting, plot, characters, and themes of
    her work

Scottsboro Influence
  • In 1931 the Scottsboro incident occurred in which
    nine black youths were arrested on the charge of
    raping two white women while riding on a freight
    train near the town in Scottsboro, Alabama.
  • After several sets of trials from 1931 to 1936,
    in which some youths were sentenced to death, the
    case finally ended with several defendants given
    long prison terms and others being released.
  • Only much later was it discovered that the women
    fabricated the whole story.

TKAM Background
  • Set in a fictional town in Maycomb, Alabama
    during 1930s (Great Depression)
  • Plot occurs over 3-year period
  • Jean Louise Finch (Scout) narrator
  • Writing as an adult and describing an event that
    had a profound effect on her and her family

TKAM Background Cont.
  • Main characters
  • Jean Louise Finch (Scout) sister
  • Jeremy Finch (Jem) brother
  • Atticus Finch dad
  • Charles Baker Harris (Dill) childhood friend

Little Rock Crisis
  • On September 4, 1957 Arkansas governor, Orval
    Faubus ordered the National Guard to prevent nine
    Negro students from enrolling in previously all
    Central High School
  • After trying for eighteen days to persuade Orval
    Faubus to obey the ruling of the Supreme Court,
    Eisenhower decided to order paratroopers of the
    101st Airborne Division, to protect black
    children going to Little Rock Central High
    School. The white population of Little Rock were
    furious that they were being forced to integrate
    their school and Faubus described the federal
    troops as an army of occupation.

Little Rock Crisis
  • Elizabeth Eckford and the other eight African
    American students that entered the school
    (Carlotta Walls, Jefferson Thomas, Thelma
    Mothershed, Melba Pattillo, Ernest Green,
    Terrance Roberts, Gloria Ray and Minnijean Brown)
    suffered physical violence and constant racial
    abuse. Parents of four of the children lost their
    jobs because they had insisted in sending them to
    a white school. Woodrow Mann and his family
    received death threats and Klu Klux Klan crosses
    were burnt on his front lawn.
  • The federal troops left at the end of November
    and the first black student graduated from
    Central High School in May 1958.

(No Transcript)
Important Dates
  • 1866 - 14th amendment grants African Americans
    citizenship. Civil Rights act passed by
  • 1879 - Edison invents the light bulb (or was it
  • 1886 - Statue of Liberty unveiled
  • 1914 - National average wage is 2.40 per day
  • 1915 - Ford produces its one millionth car
  • 1917 - US enters World War I
  • 1918 - World War ends

More Important Dates
  • 1929 - Wall street crash marks start of the Great
  • 1938 - Ten Million Americans are unemployed
  • 1940 - Color television is presented to the
    American public
  • 1941 - US enters World War II
  • 1954 - United States Supreme Court rules in Brown
    vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, that
    racial segregation in the public schools is
    inherently unequal and, therefore, illegal.
  • 1955 - Rosa Parks refuses to sit in the back of
    the bus
  • 1964 - Civil Rights Act outlawed segregation in
    the US schools and public places

Racial Segregation
Racial segregation characterized by separation of
different races in daily life, such as eating in
a restaurant, drinking from a water fountain,
using a rest room, attending school, going to the
movies, or in the rental or purchase of a home.
Segregation may be mandated by law or exist
through social norms. Segregation may be
maintained by means ranging from discrimination
in hiring and in the rental and sale of housing
to certain races to vigilante violence such as
lynching a situation that arises when members of
different races mutually prefer to associate and
do business with members of their own race would
usually be described as separation or de facto
separation of the races rather than segregation.
Legal segregation in both South Africa and the
U.S. was required and came with
"anti-miscegenation laws" (prohibitions against
interracial marriage) and laws against hiring
people of the race that is the object of
discrimination in any but menial positions.
Racial Segregation
Segregation in hiring practices contributes to
economic imbalance between the races.
Segregation, however, often allowed close contact
in hierarchical situations, such as allowing a
person of one race to work as a servant for a
member of another race. Segregation can involve
spatial separation of the races, and/or mandatory
use of different institutions, such as schools
and hospitals by people of different races.
To Kill A Mockingbird
  • 1960 - Publication of To Kill A Mockingbird in
    the Fall (Shoots to top of NY Times Best Seller
  • Lee's book was published in a time of tumultuous
    events and racial strife as the struggle in the
    Civil Rights movement grew violent and spread
    into cities across the nation, and into the
    American consciousness on TV screens and the
    nightly news.
  • 1961 - To Kill A Mockingbird, is released the
    screen adaptation by Horton Foote receives 5
    Academy Award nominations.

  • Harper Lee's Childhood
  • Grew up in 1930s - rural southern Alabama town
  • Father - Amasa Lee - attorney who served in
    state legislature in Alabama
  • Older brother and young neighbor (Truman Capote)
    are playmates
  • Harper Lee - an avid reader
  • Six years old when Scottsboro trials were
    meticulously covered in state and local newspapers
  • Scout Finch's Childhood
  • Grew up in 1930s - rural southern Alabama town
  • Father - Atticus Finch - attorney who served in
    state legislature in Alabama
  • Older brother and young neighbor (Dill) are
  • Scout reads before she enters school reads
    Mobile Register newspaper in first grade
  • Six years old when the trial of Tom Robinson
    takes place

Trials Parallel
  • The Scottsboro Trials
  • Took place in the 1930s
  • Took place in northern Alabama
  • Began with a charge of rape made by white women
    against African American men
  • The poor white status of the accusers was a
    critical issue.
  • A central figure was a heroic judge, a member of
    the Alabama Bar who overturned a guilty jury
    verdict against African American men.
  • This judge went against public sentiment in
    trying to protect the rights of the African
    American defendants.
  • The first juries failed to include any African
    Americans, a situation which caused the U.S.
    Supreme Court to overturn the guilty verdict.
  • The jury ignored evidence, for example, that the
    women suffered no injuries.
  • Attitudes about Southern women and poor whites
    complicated the trial.
  • Tom Robinson's Trial
  • Occurs in the 1930s
  • Takes place in southern Alabama
  • Begins with a charge of rape made by a white
    woman against an African American man
  • The poor white status of Mayella is a critical
  • A central figure is Atticus, lawyer, legislator
    and member of the Alabama Bar, who defends an
    African American man.
  • Atticus arouses anger in the communtiy in trying
    to defend Tom Robinson.
  • The verdict is rendered by a jury of poor white
    residents of Old Sarum.
  • The jury ignores evidence, for example, that Tom
    has a useless left arm.