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Copy of To Kill a Mockingbird Introduction

Intro to To Kill a Mockingbird, talking about the author and the time period.
by

Lindsey Corley

on 15 November 2016

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Transcript of Copy of To Kill a Mockingbird Introduction

Harper Lee
To Kill a
Mockingbird

by
Historical Background
The Great Depression
Heated race relations

Many Americans lost all of their money
Many had borrowed on credit to buy the stocks, and now they were in debt
1933:
Nazis come into power
Jews are removed from all government, state, and cultural positions.
Jews were segregated in restaurants and schools. Jewish professors were dismissed from their jobs.
Questions?
Harper Lee, born April 28, 1926 (still alive)

- Grew up during the Great Depression
(same time period as her novel)

- Grew up in Monroeville, Alabama
(town is very similar to the town described
in her novel)

- Her father was a lawyer
(just like the main character of her novel)
Fiction
Semi-autobiographical?
Main Characters
Scout
Jem
Atticus
Dill
Miss Maudie
Calpurnia
narrator
Europe
Gender roles
Stock market crash
A drought in the South led to dust storms that destroyed crops
Dust Bowl

Prices of crops went down causing many farms to go out of business

People could not afford luxuries

Factories shut down

Businesses went under

Banks could not pay out money

People could not pay their taxes
Schools shut down due to lack of funds
Herbert Hoover was president when the Depression hit
Philosophy: The market will correct itself

What He Did: Not much
Things got so bad that some families were forced to live in tent towns

They were referred to as “Hooverville” because of President Hoover’s lack of help during the depression.
When he was inaugurated unemployment had increased by 7 million.

Poor sections (like Harlem) had 50% of the pop. unemployed

He started the “New Deal,” which many credit with bringing our country out of the Depression


African Americans could not serve on a jury, and “fair trial” did not include acceptance of a black man’s word against a white man’s
African Americans were treated as second class citizens who could not sit at the front of the bus or walk on the sidewalk if a white person was present
Intermarriage was illegal
Most public places were segregated
Jim Crow laws enforced segregation in the south


Schools
Parks
Courthouses
Stores
Memphis
Women were considered “weak”
Women had only recently been given the right to vote
Women were not allowed to serve on juries
Women were generally not educated for occupations outside the home
Men were not considered capable of nurturing children (a divorced man would be unlikely to obtain custody of his child)
Women were often treated as lesser than men
The young girl who acts in such a manner as to attract attention in public; who speaks loudly, and jokes and laughs and tells stories in order to be heard by others than her immediate companions, . . . who expresses opinions on all subjects with forward self-confidence, is rightly regarded by all thoughtful and cultivated people as one of the most disagreeable and obnoxious characters to be met with in society.
From a book on manners (1920)
Hitler
1933:
Nazis come into power
Jews are removed from all government, state, and cultural positions.
Jews were segregated in restaurants and schools. Jewish professors were dismissed from their jobs.
Two Storylines
Scout and her friends want to meet their mysterious neighbor, Boo Radley
Scout's father is involved in a court case that no one thinks he can win
Boo Radley
two conflicts
Theme
The controlling idea or meaning of a work of art or literature

(This could be a moral to a story
or just a dominant idea or feeling)


Lee stresses the need to understand other people's perspectives in order to destroy the evils of prejudice.
Pay attention to examples of
prejudice in the novel
Race
Gender
Handicaps
Rich/Poor
Age
Religion
which means
"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."
An adverse judgment or opinion formed beforehand or without knowledge or examination of the facts.
A preconceived preference or idea.
Pre - Judge
PRejudices
Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR)
Other Themes:
What is real courage?
Gender roles
Growing up
Full transcript