To Kill a Mockingbird

Report
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
The Novel
BY
HARPER LEE
Great Depression – 1930’s


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.

people lost their homes, were forced to “live off the land.”
Racial Prejudice
•Racial prejudice was alive &
well.
•Although slavery had ended in
1864, old ideas were slow to
change.
Gender Bias (Prejudice)
Women were considered “weak.”
 Women were generally not educated for
occupations outside the home.
 In wealthy families, women were expected
to oversee the servants and entertain guests.
 Men not considered capable of nurturing
children.

Poverty
Poor,
uneducated people who lived on
“relief” system.
– lowest social class
– prejudiced against African Americans
–felt the need to “put down” others in order to
elevate themselves
Legal Issues of the 1930’s
which impact the story



Women given the vote
in 1920
Juries were MALE
and Caucasian.
“Fair trial” did not
include acceptance of
a black man’s word
against a white man’s
Prejudice in the novel
Race
Gender
Handicaps
Rich/Poor
Age
Religion
Advantages of First Person Point of
View
Draws reader/viewer closer into story and
character when one who is a part of the
story tells it
 Makes story and narrator believable
 Interesting combination of Scout as the
adult narrator and as the child protagonist

Setting

The novel is set in Maycomb, Alabama
– Maycomb is a small rural community where everyone
knows everyone else’s business
– the children know everybody in their neighborhood
Point of View

First person
– Story is told by Scout, a 10-year-old girl
– Harper Lee is actually a woman; Scout
represents the author as a little girl although the
story is not strictly autobiographical
Reading the Novel



Setting is all important –be aware of the “where”
and “when” as you begin.
Point of View – the novel is shaped by the voice
of a young girl who sees the story from a position
of naïve acceptance.
“Knowledge vs. Ignorance (Evil)” is an important
theme.
Scout
In both the novel
and the film,
Scout is
portrayed as an
independent and
precocious child.
Atticus
Atticus, in both the
novel and the film,
is portrayed as a
fair-minded and
honest lawyer who
strives to make the
judicial system
work for all people.
General Characterization
Through vivid
description, colorful
dialogue, and credible
interaction among her
characters, Harper Lee
creates interesting and
believable citizens of
Maycomb County.

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