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The master behind the masterpiece

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1 The master behind the masterpiece
Harper Lee The master behind the masterpiece

2 Who is she? Born: April 28, 1926. Birthplace: Monroeville, Alabama
Youngest of four children Her father was a lawyer Nelle Harper Lee was a tomboy as a child

3 Nelle Harper Lee Childhood friend of writer Truman Capote
A young precocious reader, Lee was only five years old when the tragic Scottsboro Trials took place. To Kill a Mockingbird is the only novel Lee ever wrote.

4 Scottsboro Trials

5 Harper Lee Continued… Studied law at the University of Alabama
Spent a year at Oxford University Did not pursue a legal career—moved to New York where she worked for an airline. In NY she became more interested in writing and wrote Mockingbird. To Kill A Mockingbird – published in 1960

6 First time is a charm Won the heralded Pulitzer Prize in 1961.
In 1999 the novel was voted “Best Novel of the Century” by the Library Journal

7 Background on Novel To Kill A Mockingbird emerged in 1960.
What was happening in the United States during this time period? What about in Alabama? What do you consider to be the author’s purpose? Art imitates life

8 Profound "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird."

9 Setting Maycomb, Alabama during the depression.
The South was in racial turmoil. The United States was in financial turmoil.

10 Setting Continued Geographic—Maycomb, Alabama—Often thought to be representative of Monroeville, Alabama

11 Motifs Good vs. Evil Poor vs. “Pitifully” Poor White vs. Black
Old vs. Young Educated vs. Uneducated

12 Conflicts Man vs. Man Man vs. Society Bob Ewell vs. Tom Robinson
Ewell’s vs. Atticus Finch Man vs. Society Boo Radley vs. Society Tom Robinson vs. Society

13 Characters Scout Finch Jem Finch
The narrator and main character. It could be argued that she is Lee as a child. Jem Finch Scout’s older brother, Jem is often protective and competitive with Scout.

14 Characters Boo Radley Nathan Radley
The neighborhood recluse. He lives close to the Finches. Nathan Radley Boo’s brother, Nathan inherits the Radley house when their parents die and becomes Boo’s caretaker.

15 Characters Charles Baker “Dill” Harris Calpurnia
Dill visits during the summers and is Jem and Scout’s closest friend and playmate. Calpurnia Housekeeper for the Finches, and mother figure to Scout and Jem.

16 Characters Atticus Finch
Scout and Jem’s father, Atticus is the voice of reason, wisdom, and justice in this story. One of the great characters in American literature, Atticus is a hero to many for his upstanding character and undying integrity.

17 Characters Tom Robinson
Tom is a black man accused of raping a white woman in Maycomb, AL. Tom’s character helps relate the injustices of racial prejudice in the depression era South.

18 Characters Mayella Ewell Bob Ewell
Accuses Tom of rape; her personal integrity is questioned throughout the story. Bob Ewell Mayella’s father, this alcoholic dominant male character provides insight into the downfall of poor people during the depression.

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