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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a MockingbirdBackground NotesNelle Harper Lee

Author: Nelle Harper LeeBorn: Monroeville, Alabama, 1926Still lives thereFamily/FriendsMother: Francis FinchFather: Amasa Coleman LeeDescendent of Robert E. LeeLawyer in MonroevilleMonroeville Courthouse

Friends/Family cont...Sister: Lawyer in MonroevilleChildhood Friend: Truman Capote, author. Dill is modeled after him.

Truman CapoteBreakfast at Tiffanys, In Cold Blood

Lees Education/Career1944-45: Huntington College1945-49: U. of Alabama (law)Exchange Student: Oxford U. (UK)Dropped out of college 6 months prior to receiving her degree1950: Moved to NYCAirline reservation clerkStarted to write seriouslyEducation/Career cont1960: TKM published just as Civil Rights Movement began to heat upLee has never published another novel1962: TKM movieDouble-Oscar winnerTwo Big TKAM Awards1961: Pulitzer Prize1962: Bestsellers Paperback of the YearTo Kill a MockingbirdHistorical ContextThe Great DepressionStory takes place in early 1930s, the height of The DepressionFranklin Delano Roosevelt=pres.Harsh life for rural South became tougherBlacks: House workers, farm-handsWhite Farmers: Might own land, but no $Professional whites also hit hardFranklin Delano Roosevelt


Poor Whites

Poor Blacks

Jim Crow

The onset of The Great Depression probably made people more class- and race- conscious rather than bringing them together. WHY?Segregation: 1930sWorse in the SouthEmancipation Proclamation, 1863. Blacks were not slaves anymore, but had few real rightsJim Crow lawsLynchings not uncommon