To Kill a Mockingbird - Mrs. Tucker's Class Web Site

To Kill a Mockingbird
By Harper Lee
Goals for Lesson
• We will learn about the following
aspects of the novel To Kill a
Contextual Setting
Novel’s Theme
9th Grade Alabama
Course of Study Objectives
• Compare the use of language and literary elements and
devices, including rhythm, rhyme scheme, tone, and plot,
in various selections, cultures, and genres.
• Identify literary components that contribute to authors’
• Determine word meaning in world literature selections
using word analysis and context clues.
• Write in narrative, expository, and persuasive modes using
figurative language and imagery, including simile and
metaphor, when effective and appropriate.
AHSGE Reading Objectives
• Identify supporting
• Determine sequence of
• Follow directions
• Identify main ideas
• Draw conclusions
• Determine cause and
• Recognize summary
• Analyze literary
• Understand figurative
• Determine meaning of
• Preview and predict
Harper Lee
Harper Lee
• Nellie Harper Lee
• Born April 28, 1926
• Monroeville, Alabama
• Childhood Friend of
Truman Capote
• Studied Law
Harper Lee
• Worked with Capote in
Holcomb, Kansas, to research
In Cold Blood
• Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for
To Kill a Mockingbird
• Lives in New York
• Very Reclusive
• Maycomb, Alabama
• Southern United States
• 1930’s
–Great Depression
–Prejudice and Legal
Harper Lee vs. Scout
The novel is not autobiographical, but…
• Harper Lee
• She grew up in 1930’s in rural •
Alabama town
• Father was an attorney, who
served in the state legislature.
• Older brother and young neighbor
(Truman Capote) were playmates.
• She was an avid reader as a child.•
• She was six years old when the •
Scottsboro trials were widely
covered in the newspapers.
Scout Finch
She is growing up in 1930’s in
rural Alabama town
Father is an attorney, who
serves in the state legislature.
Older brother (Jem) and young
neighbor (Dill) are playmates.
She is an avid reader as a child.
She is six years old when the
trial of Tom Robinson takes
•The Great Depression
•The Dust Bowl
1930’s - Great Depression began
when the stock market crashed in
October, 1929
• Businesses failed, factories closed.
–People were out of work.
–Even people with money suffered
because nothing was being
produced for sale.
• Farm Depression of the 1920’s
• Prices of farm products fell about
40% in 1920-1921, and they
remained low through the 1920’s.
• As a result some farmers lost so
much money they couldn’t pay the
mortgage on their farms.
• They either had to rent the land or
• Uneven Distribution of Income
• Industrial productions increased
about 50%, but the wages of the
industrial workers rose far more
• As a result these workers couldn’t
buy goods as fast as industry
produced them.
• The Stock Market Crash
• Stock values dropped rapidly on October
24, 1929, now known as Black Thursday.
• The next Monday stock prices fell again.
• On Tuesday stock holders panicked and
sold a record 16,410,030 shares of
• Thousands of people lost huge sums of
money as stock values fell far below the
prices paid for them.
Poor people lost their homes,
were forced to “live off the land.”
Unemployment rose to 30%
Seattle, Washington
Pres. Herbert Hoover
Migrant Farming Camps
The Dust Bowl
Dodge City, Kansas
Garden City, KS
Garden City, KS, 15 Minutes Later
Prejudices in the Novel
• Race
• Gender
• Handicaps
• Rich/Poor
• Age
• Religion
Racial prejudice was alive &
well. Although slavery had ended
in 1864, old ideas were slow to
The Supreme Court ruled
that separate but equal was
legal. These laws became
known as Jim Crow Laws.
Racial Separation (Segregation)
Gender Bias (Prejudice)
• Women were considered “weak”
• Women were generally not educated
occupations outside the home
• In wealthy families, women were expected
to oversee the servants and entertain guests
• Men not considered capable of nurturing
Legal Issues of the 1930’s
• Women given the vote in
• Juries were MALE and
• “Fair trial” did not include
acceptance of a black man’s
word against a white man’s
Point of View
• First Person Narrative
–Story is told by Scout, a 10-yearold girl.
–Harper Lee is actually a woman;
Scout represents the author as a
little girl although the story is not
strictly autobiographical.
• Atticus Finch - an attorney whose
wife has died, leaving him to raise
their two children:
-Jem – 10-year-old boy
-Scout – (Jean Louise),
6-year-old girl
• Tom Robinson – a black man
accused of raping white girl; he
is defended at trial by Atticus.
• Calpurnia – older black woman
who is like a mother to the
• Boo – a recluse, whom the
children love to taunt.
Reading the Novel
• Setting is all important.
• Point of View – the novel is shaped
by the voice of a young girl who
sees the story from a position of
naïve acceptance.
• “Goodness vs. Ignorance (Evil)” is
an important theme.

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