She attended Huntingdon College in Montgomery —45and then studied law at the University of Alabama — While attending college, she wrote for campus literary magazines: At both colleges, she wrote short stories and other works about racial injustice, a rarely mentioned topic on such campuses at the time. Hoping to be published, Lee presented her writing in to a literary agent recommended by Capote.
The heroic character of Atticus Finch has been held up as a role model of moral virtue and impeccable character for lawyers to emulate. To Kill a Mockingbird has endured as a mainstay on high school and college reading lists.
It was adapted to film in as a major motion picture starring Gregory Peck.
Scout and her brother Jem are raised by their father and by Calpurnia, an African-American housekeeper who works for the family. Scout and Jem meet and befriend seven-year-old Dill Harris, a boy who has arrived in Maycomb to stay with his aunt for the summer.
Lee has stated that the character of Dill is based on young Truman Capote, a well-known Southern writer and childhood friend. In the fall, Dill returns to his family in the North and Scout enters the first grade.
Scout and Jem begin to discover mysterious objects, designed to intrigue children, hidden in a tree on the Radley property. Mayella and her shiftless father, Bob Ewell, live in abject poverty on the outskirts of town. The family is known as trouble and disliked by townspeople.
Atticus consistently strives to instill moral values in his children, and hopes to counteract the influence of racial prejudice.
The children view their father as frustratingly staid and bookish, until he is asked by the sheriff to shoot a rabid dog that is roaming the street.
After Atticus kills the dog, Scout and Jem learn that their father is renowned as a deadly marksman in Maycomb County, but that he chooses not to use this skill, unless absolutely necessary. The night before the trial of Tom Robinson is to begin, a group of local men threaten a lynching, but Scout inadvertently disrupts their plan when she recognizes the father of a schoolmate in the crowd of would-be lynchers.
When the trial begins, Atticus tries to protect his children from the anger and prejudice they would hear; however, Scout, Jem, and Dill sneak into the courtroom and sit in the balcony with the black community.
Mayella and her father testify that Tom raped Mayella after he was asked onto their property to break up an old chifforobe into firewood. Therefore, Atticus concludes, Tom could not possibly be the left-handed assailant who struck Mayella on the right side of her face.
Before the jury departs to deliberate, Atticus appeals to their sense of justice, imploring them not to allow racial prejudice to interfere with their deliberations.
However, after two hours, the jury returns with a guilty verdict, sentencing Tom to be executed for rape. Later, Tom is shot to death during an attempt to escape from jail. Boo Radley, secretly observing the scene, intervenes in the scuffle, and Bob Ewell is stabbed and killed in the process.
Intimately aware of issues of prejudice due to the Tom Robinson case, Atticus and the children agree to report that Ewell fell on his knife in the scuffle, sparing Boo the consequences of a legal trial.
Scout realizes in retrospect that Boo has never been the threatening figure the children had imagined, and that he was responsible for leaving the mysterious gifts for them to find on his property. After walking Boo home, Scout stands on the porch of his house looking out, finally seeing the world through a wider perspective.
Major Themes The central thematic concern of To Kill a Mockingbird addresses racial prejudice and social justice. Atticus Finch represents a strongly principled, liberal perspective that runs contrary to the ignorance and prejudice of the white, Southern, small-town community in which he lives.
Atticus is convinced that he must instill values of equality in his children, counteracting the racist influence. Lee makes use of several images and allegories throughout the novel to symbolize racial conflict.
The rabid dog that threatens the town has been interpreted as symbolizing the menace of racism. The central symbol of the novel, the mockingbird, further develops the theme of racial prejudice.Read this student’s take on it in an example essay: An Analysis of Good and Evil in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Theme #3: Racism The residents of Maycomb (where To Kill a Mockingbird takes place) are blatantly prejudiced and racist. To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the small, rural town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the early s.
The character of Atticus Finch, Scout's father, was based on Lee's own father, a liberal Alabama lawyer and statesman who frequently defended African Americans within the racially prejudiced Southern legal system.
“To Kill A Mockingbird” is one of my favorite stories. The main character is Atticus Finch, a lawyer and father who defends a young black man of rape in To Kill a Mockingbird is an exploration of human morality, and presents a constant conversation regarding the inherent goodness or evilness of people.
Atticus, father of Scout and Jem, also plays the role of teacher, for his children and his town. Nov 23, · To Kill a Mockingbird is set in the small, rural town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the early s.
The character of Atticus Finch, Scout's father, was based on Lee's own father, a . A summary of Themes in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird. Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of To Kill a Mockingbird and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.