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By Harper Lee. By the end of this unit, the student will be able to: identify the characteristics of the Southern woman in the early twentieth century.

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Presentation on theme: "By Harper Lee. By the end of this unit, the student will be able to: identify the characteristics of the Southern woman in the early twentieth century."— Presentation transcript:

1 By Harper Lee

2 By the end of this unit, the student will be able to: identify the characteristics of the Southern woman in the early twentieth century. analyze the character growth exhibited by both Jem and Scout. discuss the relationship of Atticus with his children. explain and analyze Harper Lee’s themes of prejudice (particularly, racism, sexism, classism), empathy, education, religion, loss of innocence, deceptive appearances, and courage. compare and contrast traditional Southern social attitudes and Atticus’s attitude toward other people. UNIT OBJECTIVES

3 discuss Harper Lee’s use of first-person narrative and its implication on the reader’s understanding of the story. explain the role of Boo Radley as an absent character (one the reader does not see). analyze Atticus’s character as a representation of justice and equality. explain Harper Lee’s use of humor, suspense, foreshadowing, symbolism, form, structure, irony, and allusions as literary techniques. identify and define the literary devices that Harper Lee uses, such as similes, metaphors, diction, dialect, characterization, mood, and idioms. UNIT OBJECTIVES CONTINUED


5 Harper Lee Harper Lee only published one novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, in 1960; she did not like the fame that came with her Pulitzer Prize winning novel, so she never published again. ABOUT THE AUTHOR

6 ABOUT THE AUTHOR CONTINUED Many believe that Harper Lee based the protagonist, Scout Finch, on herself; she denies that claim. There is much evidence to support the idea, however: She grew up in Monroeville, AL in the 1930s, a place very similar to the fictional town of Maycomb, AL, the setting of TKAM, where Scout grew up in the 1930s. Her daddy was a small town lawyer and served in the state legislature, just like Atticus Finch, and Harper Lee spent many hours at the courthouse just like Scout does in the novel.

7 There was a recluse in her childhood neighborhood very similar to Boo Radley, the neighborhood recluse in TKAM. Her mother’s maiden name was Frances Finch. Lee and her brother spent many childhood hours playing with famous author Truman Capote, who many believe was the model for the character of Dill, who plays with Jem and Scout throughout the novel. ABOUT THE AUTHOR CONTINUED

8 She was an avid reader as a child; Scout, similarly, reads before she enters school and reads the newspaper to her teacher with ease on the first day of school. She was 6 years old when the Scottsboro trial was widely covered in the national, state, and local news; Scout is 6 years old when the trial of Tom Robinson takes place. ABOUT THE AUTHOR CONTINUED

9 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The setting of the novel is Maycomb, AL in the 1930s. That was during the heart of the Great Depression. Those who live within the town itself, like Scout and her family, aren’t as affected by the Depression as those who live on the outskirts, like the Ewells and the Robinsons, but still, everyone feels, at the very least, a financial pinch and general heaviness in the air.the Great Depression

10 This novel has a main plot (Jem’s coming of age story) and two subplots (1. Boo Radley, the recluse and 2. the “rape” trial of Tom Robinson). The “rape” trial is traditionally the most memorable part of the novel and many believe that Harper Lee based the events on the historically infamous rape trial of the Scottsboro Boys.the Scottsboro Boys After such an egregious act of prejudice as the Scottsboro trial, one would expect history not to repeat itself. However, many believe that what could have inspired Harper Lee to write so candidly about racial prejudices during such a racially-heated era as 1960 was the tragic and even more egregious murder of Emmett Till in 1955.murder of Emmett Till HISTORICAL BACKGROUND CONTINUED

11 To Kill a Mockingbird has been wildly popular since its publication in 1960. Schools across the nation continue to study it yearly and it sells more than a million copies annually. In his biography of Harper Lee, Mockingbird, Charles Shields says that To Kill a Mockingbird is the second most influential book ever published, second only to the Bible. It seems people are drawn to this book because everyone can find at least one aspect in it that is transferable to their lives, such as, sadly, the systemic racism that seems to still plague our country even after all these years and is starkly apparent in cases like the 1989 Central Park Jogger, where 5 innocent black and latino teenagers were falsely convicted of the rape and brutal beating of a white woman, and the more recent Trayvon Martin tragedy, which highlighted and heated racial tensions across the country once again.Central Park Jogger IMPLICATION

12 A signed, first edition copy of TKAM goes for about $25,000 on Ebay. (I have a first edition copy, but it’s not signed. Oh well – it’s still pretty cool.) The city of Monroeville, Alabama was Harper Lee’s birthplace and is believed to be the source of the setting of Maycomb for this book. Every spring, Monroeville puts on a play of the courthouse scene from chapters 16-21 of the novel. Tickets are nearly impossible to come by. (One of my best friends from college lives there. She says she sees Harper Lee in town from time to time. I would die from pure excitement if that ever happened to me.) In 2001, Blink 182 band members Tom Delonge and Mark Hoppus created the men’s clothing line Atticus, named for the character in the book. The female line is called Scout. Jake Gyllenhaal named his dog Atticus. (And my favorite cousin Philip named his little boy that too.) Demi Moore and Bruce Willis named their daughter Scout. TRIVIA

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