2 Harper LeeNelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama, a sleepy small town similar in many ways to Maycomb, the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird. Nelle’s father, Amasa, was a lawyer like Atticus Finch, the father of Scout, the narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird.
3 About the book… Nelle Harper Lee is the author. To Kill a Mockingbird was published in 1960 and it received the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961.It was an immediate success and within a year, it sold half a million copies.It was translated into 10 languages and within two years it was turned into a film starring Gregory Peck.It was nominated for 8 Academy Awards—including Best Picture.FUN FACT: To date, the novel has sold 30 million copies and is ranked in the Guinness Book of World Records as the top selling novel of all time.
4 More about the novel…To Kill a Mockingbird takes place during the Great Depression ( ).The novel is written in past tense as a flashback as the narrator tells of her life when she was younger.Scout narrates the novel in first-person point of view.Scout learns about justice and injustice by watching a trial of an African American man. She witnesses class and race divisions, discovers courage, learns to respect diversity, and learns good can overcome evil.The plot covers 3 years in the lives of Scout and her brother, Jem. Through narration we hear her child’s voice.The title comes from a passage in the novel and this idea becomes a theme of the book.
5 Scottsboro TrialsIn 1931, when Lee was five, nine young black men were accused of raping two white women near Scottsboro, Alabama. After a series of lengthy, highly publicized, and often bitter trials, five of the nine men were sentenced to long prison terms.
6 A time of racismEven though Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves in 1863, Blacks were still not treated equally.Typical jobs for African Americans were agricultural laborers, plantation workers and factory workers.
7 OverviewScout Finch lives with her brother, Jem, and their widowed father, Atticus, and their black cook, Calpurnia in the sleepy Alabama town of Maycomb. Maycomb is a small town suffering through the Great Depression, in addition to racial, social, and religious discrimination. Part one of the book sets the stage for Tom Robinson’s trial that takes place in part two. In part one, we read about the adventures Scout has with her brother, Jem and their friend, Dill. We witness the ugly side of discrimination. And we learn about “Boo”, the source of the children’s ghost stories.
8 “Scout”Jean Louise “Scout” Finch - The narrator and protagonist of the story. She is a strong-willed tomboy that won’t back down to anyone.
9 AtticusAtticus Finch - Scout and Jem’s father, a lawyer in Maycomb descended from an old local family. A widower with a dry sense of humor, Atticus has instilled in his children his strong sense of morality and justice.
10 “Jem”Jeremy Atticus “Jem” Finch - Scout’s brother and constant playmate at the beginning of the story. Jem is something of a typical American boy, refusing to back down from dares and fantasizing about playing football.
11 “Boo”Arthur “Boo” Radley - A recluse who never sets foot outside his house. He gets into trouble as a teenager, so his religiously fanatical parent promises the state that he will never get into trouble again.
12 Bob EwellBob Ewell - A drunken, mostly unemployed member of Maycomb’s poorest family.
13 “Dill”Charles Baker “Dill” Harris - Jem and Scout’s summer neighbor and friend. Dill is an adventurous and imaginative boy with a mind full of stories.
14 Miss MaudieMiss Maudie Atkinson - The Finches’ neighbor, a sharp-tongued widow, and a friend to Jem, Scout and Dill.She is criticized by the religious fanatics of the town because they think she spends too much time in her garden instead of in the house reading the Bible.
15 CalpurniaCalpurnia - The Finches’ black cook. Calpurnia is a stern disciplinarian and the children’s bridge between their world and the black community.
16 Aunt AlexandraAunt Alexandra - Atticus’s sister, a strong-willed woman with a fierce devotion to her family.She is critical of Scout because of her “boyish” ways.She is also concerned about how Atticus is raising his children.
17 MayellaMayella Ewell - Bob Ewell’s abused, lonely, unhappy daughter. Though one can pity Mayella because of her overbearing father, one cannot pardon her for her shameful indictment of Tom Robinson.
18 Tom Robinson Tom Robinson - The black field hand accused of rape. He is a kind and gentle family man.