Presentation on theme: "To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee. Harper Lee ● Full Name: Nelle Harper Lee ● Born: 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama ● To Kill A Mockingbird is her only."— Presentation transcript:
To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee
Harper Lee ● Full Name: Nelle Harper Lee ● Born: 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama ● To Kill A Mockingbird is her only published novel ● She once said to her cousin, “when you have a hit like that, you can’t go anywhere but down.” ● Many elements of the novel (the tomboy female, the setting, the realm of the courtroom) could be considered autobiographical, but she has downplayed this ● Traveled with Truman Capote to Holcomb, Kansas, to research the murder case he would eventually detail in his famous book, In Cold Blood
How the Novel Came to be ●On Christmas Day in 1956, her friends Michael and Joy Brown's presented her with a gift (a year’s salary), and a note — "You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas." ●A year later, she had the beginnings of a novel, "Go Set a Watchman," which became "Atticus," and later To Kill a Mocking Bird” ●Denied publication by 10 different publishing houses before it was accepted, but under the condition that it would be revised considerably. ●Under the guidance of a patient editor at Lippincott named Tay Hohoff, she worked on To Kill a Mockingbird for 2 years, finishing in the summer of 1959.
As a Catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement ●Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird during the beginning of the Civil Rights era (from about 1955 to 1958). ●Alabama was the subject of much publicity (the Montgomery bus boycott, Martin Luther King's rise to leadership, etc.) ●Published in 1960 when segregation was still in effect ●Harper Lee’s book, and its later popular film adaptation, presented the issues of the time with great compassion (very progressive) ●Allowed many people to rethink the status quo of segregation and the racism they grew up with.
The Novel’s Reception ● “I never expected any sort of success with Mockingbird. I was hoping for a quick and merciful death at the hands of the reviewers but, at the same time, I sort of hoped someone would like it enough to give me encouragement. Public encouragement. I hoped for a little, as I said, but I got rather a whole lot, and in some ways this was just about as frightening as the quick, merciful death I'd expected.” - Harper Lee
Southern Gothic ● A subgenre of the American Gothic novel genre ● Like its parent genre, it relies on supernatural, ironic, or unusual events to guide the plot. ● Unlike its predecessor, it uses these tools not for the sake of suspense, but to explore social issues and reveal the cultural character of the American South.
Southern Gothic ● Southern writers usually avoid perpetuating antebellum stereotypes ● The contented slave ● The Southern belle ● The chivalrous gentleman ● The righteous Christian preacher ● Instead, they use classic archetypes but portray them in a more modern manner ● Damsel in distress ● Knight in shining armor
Southern Gothic ● Notable feature: “The Grotesque” ● Depicts cringe-inducing scenes (like the bigoted dialogue of Flannery O’Connor’s characters or their sometimes monstrous physical depictions) ● Even though these elements are gross, the characters are sympathetic enough for the reader to remain interested
Famous Writers of the Genre ● Harper Lee ● William Faulkner ● Flannery O’Connor ● Eudora Welty ● Cormac McCarthy ● Tenessee Williams ● Truman Capote
Southern Gothic’s Reception ● “Anything that comes out of the South is going to be called grotesque by the northern reader, unless it is grotesque, in which case it is going to be called realistic.“ - Flannery O’Connor