To Kill A Mickingbird Essay, Research Paper
To Kill a Mockingbird
Nelle Harper Lee used her life as part of her storyline in To Kill a Mockingbird . Mockingbird won many award like the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. Her story was also turned into an Academy award winning film and an English play. To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about friendships, racism, and injustices.
ABOUT NELLE HARPER LEE
She was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She studied law at the University of Alabama from 1945-1949, and then spent a year as an exchange student in Oxford University. She then went to New York to pursue a career in writing. Lee worked as an Airline reservation clerk with British Overseas Airways and Eastern Air Lines during the 1950s.
She used the Scottsboro incident in 1931 as part of her storyline about Tom Robinson and Mayella Ewell. Harper Lee was born in a small town like Maycomb. Her Father Amasa Coleman Lee resembles Attticus Finch, her childhood friend; famous novelist and essayist Truman Capote was the inspiration of Dill, and she used names from some of her family members as the names of some of the characters in To Kill a Mockingbird .
SUCCESS OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
Harper Lee s only published novel To Kill a Mockingbird sold over fifth teen million copies. Her story made her famous; but she avoided the spotlight by not being interviewed and declining to write a film version of To Kill a Mockingbird . A year after Mockingbird was published; it was turned into an Academy Award winning film.
On May 29,1961; the Alabama Legislature had passed a resolution to congratulate Lee on her success. She also brought awareness about racism and injustice. It was also translated into several languages. In 1987, Christopher Sergel turned To Kill a Mockingbird into an English Play.
LEE S OTHER WORK & AWARDS
On May 1961, Nelle Harper Lee was the first woman since 1942 to win the Pulitzer Prize. She also won the Alabama Library Association Award in 1961; it was chosen as a Literary Guild Selection, a Book-of-the-Month book; and a Reader s Digest condensed book. In June 1966, she was one of two people named by President Johnson to the National Council of Arts. She also received four honorary doctorates. She received the first doctorate at the University of Alabama in 1990, In 1997, she received a Doctorate of Humane Letters at Spring Kill College in Mobile, Alabama; she received two more after that.
Harper Lee never published another novel; but she did publish a few essays and a brief one paragraph forward in the 1995 edition of To Kill a Mockingbird .
Christmas to Me was an essay that appeared in the December 1961 issue of McCall s. Love-In Other Words was an essay that appeared in the April 15,1961 issue of Vogue. Romance and High Adventure was an essay she presented in the 1983 Alabama History and Heritage Festival in Eufaula, Alabama. In 1995, the 35th anniversary of To Kill a Mockingbird , she wrote a one paragraph forward.
MAIN CHARACTERS IN TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
THE FINCH FAMILY
Scout Finch is the six-year-old narrator of this story; she tells about her life between the ages of six through nine. She has a tomboy personality, she is smarter than most kids her age; and she believes that all of the people in her community have goodness.
Jeremy Atticus Finch, AKA Jem is Scout s older brother. He is very close and protective of Scout. His personality is pretty similar to his father s.
Atticus Finch is Scout and Jem s father. His wife died when Scout was two. He s a lawyer with no sense of humor, he also believes in justice for everyone, no matter what race they are.
Aunt Alexandria is Atticus s sister. She is a strong-willed classy lady who is devoted to Atticus, Jem, and Scout.
Uncle Jack Finch is Atticus s brother who has a good sense of humor and is good towards Scout and Jem.
Francis Finch is Alexandria s grandson.
THE EWELL FAMILY
Bob Ewell is an un-employed drunk who abused his daughter
Mayella Ewell is Bob s Daughter
THE ROBINSON S
Tom Robinson is a sharecropper who was accused of rape.
Helen Robinson is Tom s wife
OTHER CHARACTERS IN THE STORY
Dill is Scout and Jem s playmate; who is confident and has an overactive imagination.
Arthur Boo Radley is the Finch s next-door neighbor. He is described as dark & mysterious because he never leaves his house because of an incident a long time ago.
Calpurina is the Finch s black cook.
Zeebo is Calpurina s son, who is a garbage collector.
Reverend Sykes is the minister at Calpurina s church.
Miss Rachel Haverford is Dill s aunt who is a neighbor of the Finches.
Mr. Underwood is the publisher of the Maycomb newspaper.
Judge Taylor is the judge in Tom Robinson s trial.
Heck Tate is the Sheriff of Maycomb.
Dr. Reynolds is the local doctor of Maycomb.
Mr. Gilmer is the prosecutor in the trial.
Mr. Dolphus Raymond is a rich white guy who lives with a black mistress of his and some mulatto children who pretends to be a drunk.
Miss Maudie Atkinson is a neighbor of the Finches in her late forties who is liked by all of the kids in Maycomb.
Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose is an old, short- tempered neighbor.
Link Deas is Tom s white employer.
Cecil Jacobs is a classmate of Scout s
Walter Cunningham Sr. is a poor farmer.
Walter Cunningham Jr. is Scout s classmate.
Miss Caroline Fisher & Miss Gates are Scout s teachers.
THE FIRST PART OF TO KILL A MOCKING-
SCOUT S ANCESTORS
In the very beginning she talks about a fur-trader and part-time doctor named Simon Finch, who had fled England because he tried to escape religious persecution and established a large farm on the banks of the Alabama River. The farm where Simon fled to was called Finch s Landing.
DILL- THEIR NEW PLAYMATE
In chapter 1 they met Dill in the summer time. Every fall he moves with his mom and in the summer time he lives in Maycomb.
He created Scout & Jem s fascination with Boo Radley.
THEIR FASCINATION WITH BOO ARTHUR RADLEY
Dill wanted to see what Boo looked like. Ever since he heard about the neighborhood legend about Boo. People thought Boo was an insane person who ate raw squirrels & cats.
SCOUT S 1ST DAY OF SCHOOL
She had a hard time adjusting to school because she is smarter than all of the others students and her teacher Miss Caroline Fisher gave her a hard time because Atticus taught her how to read early.
SCOUT S NEW FRIEND MISS MAUDIE ATKINSON
Jem and Dill grew closer; and Scout felt left out so she was friends with her neighbor Miss Maudie Atkinson. She told scout the truth about Boo.
THE TRUTH ABOUT BOO
What happened is when Boo was a boy; he was in trouble with the law. For punishment his father imprisoned him in his house. Boo wasn t heard of, until 15 years later when he stabbed his father with scissors. His father didn t want him committed to an asylum; but when his father died; Nathan lived with him. The only thing wrong with him; is that he s retarded and has no friends.
WHEN MISS MAUDIE S HOUSE WAS ON FIRE
Towards the middle part of the story in the wintertime, Miss Maudie s house was on fire. During the fire, someone draped a towel over Scout; she later found out that it was Boo.
GIFTS FROM BOO
For the past few years, Jem and Scout found little presents like gum, coins, balls stuck in a knothole in a Oak tree. Later on in the story, they figured it was Boo who gave them the gifts.
ATTICUS FINCH TOOK TOM ROBINSON S CASE
Atticus took a case of a black sharecropper named Tom Robinson; who was accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Tom told Atticus what happened in the night in question. He said that she came on to him and her father Bob caught them and said that she was a whore & he shall kill her and Tom fled.
SCOUT S CHRISTMAS AT FINCH S LANDING
Atticus, Scout and Jem went to Finch s Landing to have dinner with their family. Francis made fun of Dill & he called Atticus a n-word lover. That statement made Scout mad, so she fought him and got in trouble.
JEM S PUNISHMENT
Jem lost his temper when Mrs. Dubose said that Atticus in not any better than the N-word and trash he works for. So Jem took a baton and destroyed all of her camellia bushes. His punishment was to read to her for a month.
A month after his punishment was over; Mrs. Dubose died, due to her morphine addiction. She left in a will, that Jem gets a single white camellia.
THE 2ND PART OF TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
WHY DILL RAN AWAY
On the third summer, Dill s mother got remarried and supposed to move to a town called Meridian forever; but Dill didn t like his stepfather so he ran away to Maycomb. Scout found him underneath her bed. Dill stayed at the Finch s for a while.
TOM ROBINSON S TRIAL
Before Tom s trial began, a mob was looking for Tom so they could lynch him. They confronted Attitus; Scout recognized one of the members as Walter Cunningham Sr. the father of one of her classmates. She told him to tell Walter that she said hi. Her innocence ashamed the mob and they went away.
Heck Tate told Atticus that Tom does have a chance because all of the jury members are white. Tom was moved to another prison 70 miles away for his protection until the trial begins.
HECK TATE S TESTIMONY
Heck tat described the bruised he saw on Mayella Ewell.
BOB EWELL S TESTIMONY
Bob Ewell took the stand and accused Tom of raping her; but he knew Tom was innocence and the bruises came from him.
MAYELLA EWELL S TESTIMONY
Atticus tries to establish that her father gave her the bruises and Tom didn t rape her. And that she tried to seduced him.
LINK DEAS S TESTIMONY
Tom s white employer took the stand and defended him.
TOM ROBINSON S TESTIMONY
Tom took the stand and said that Mayella kissed him, her father saw what happen and called her a whore and that he shall kill her and he fled. The people in the courtroom didn t like when Tom said that he felt sorry for Mayella; because they thought that he thinks he s better than white people.
Even though Atticus proved that Bob abused his daughter; the jury gave Tom a guilty verdict.
TOM S DEATH
Tom didn t believe he could get a pardon, so he escaped prison. He was later found and shot down.
SCOUT & JEM S ATTACK
Bob Ewell vowed to get back at Atticus. One night after Scout s Halloween Pageant, Bob sneaked behind them & attacked them with a knife. But Boo Radley came to the rescue and killed Bob in self-defense.
BOB EWELL S DEATH
Atticus thought Jem killed him, but they found out it was Boo. Heck Tate told Atticus to blame Bob for his own death because Boo went through enough.
QUOTES FROM TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
TOP TEN QUOTES FROM TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD
You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view..until you climb into his skin and walk around in it. A quote that Atticus said to Scout.
Because if I didn t, Atticus replied, I couldn t hold my head up. A quote about how Atticus is explaining to Scout on why he s defending Tom.
Let the dead bury the dead , said Heck Tate. He said that because Tom died for no reason because of Bob; who is now dead.
Mr. Finch, there s just some kind of men you have to shoot before you can say hidy to `em. Even then, they ain t worth the bullet it takes to shoot `em. Ewell as one of `em.
Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it Somehow, it was hotter then..People moved slowly then. A quote from Scout on her view of Maycomb in Chapter 1.
But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal o any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of The United States of the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court, which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.
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 or us. That s why it s a sin to kill a Mockingbird.
It s not that which does not kill you will only make you stronger, it s that which does not kill you does not kill you. Rejoice. A quote from Lee about implacability.
People are people anywhere you put them. A quote from Lee s interview about Mockingbird. She was trying to insist that this story was not based on her childhood.
Mockingbird she writes, still says what it has to say; it has managed to survive the years without preamble. A quote from a one paragraph forward in her book in 1993