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Copy of To Kill a Mockingbird

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

Ashley Glover

on 30 September 2012

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Transcript of Copy of To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee To Kill a
Mockingbird by Born April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama
Descendant of Confederate general Robert E. Lee
She studied law at the University of Alabama, but never finished
Worked as an airline ticket agent for several years
For a Christmas present, she was given a year of full financial support so she could write her novel 1930's The great depression Heated race relations Scottsboro boys Hitler "Black Tuesday" October 29, 1929
The "Great Crash"
Unemployment up to 25%
Lasted until about 1939 when factory production during WWII kicked into high gear to fulfill weapons orders overseas 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. Jim Crow Refers to a set of laws, as well as a system of etiquette, defining how different races should interact.
Mainly found in the Southern and border states, although they did exist all over the U.S. Examples:
Buses: All passenger stations in this stage operated by any motor transportation company shall have separate waiting rooms or space and separate ticket windows for the white and colored races.
Education: The schools for white children and the schools for negro children shall be conducted seperately.
Burial: The officer in charge shall not bury, or allow to be buried, any colored persons upon ground set apart or used for the burial of white persons.
Amateur Baseball: It shall be unlawful for any amateur white baseball team to play baseball on any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of a playground devoted to the Negro race, and it shall be unlawful for any amateur colored baseball team to play in any vacant lot or baseball diamond within two blocks of any playground devoted to the white race. March 25, 1931: Nine African American boys were riding a train in Alabama, and got into a fight with a group of white boys, whom they outnumbered. They ended up kicking the white boys off the train. When the train stopped in Paint Rock, the white boys had a posse waiting for them, as they had reported the 9 African American boys for assault.

The posse also found a pair of white girls: Ruby Bates and Victoria Price. These girls accused the nine African American boys of raping them.

This began a series of legal battles that lasted almost two decades, as the 9 boys were declared guilty time again on very little, all circumstantial evidence, and appeal after appeal was filed. Many Jewish professors realized that there was nothing left for them in Germany, and fled to the U.S. They were welcomed into African American universities.

From an article on PBS.org:

"In many ways, these scholars discovered that the American South was not unlike Germany had been in the mid-1930s before mass murder became the policy of the German state" Parallels:
Grew up in Monroeville, AL. A small rural town
Very similar to the town in her novel
Grew up during the Great Depression
Same time period as her novel
Father was a lawyer who served on the state legislature
Very similar to the father in TKAM - Atticus)
Truman Capote- a famous writer- was Lee's close childhood friend and playmate
Very similar to the character "Dill" in the novel
Lee was six years old when the Scottsboro trials were being covered meticulously by newspapers
Controversy of these trials is very similar to the central conflict in the novel THE DUST BOWL A drought in the South led to dust storms that destroyed crops:
prices of crops went down causing many farms to go out of business
people could not afford luxuries
factories shut down
banks could not pay out money
people could not pay their taxes, which led to the shut down of public schools ...He was also in power during this time. Characters Jean Louise ("Scout") Finch Narrator & Protagonist of the story
Very intelligent
Tomboy Jeremy ("Jem") Finch Scout's older brother
Typical American boy
Scout's playmate; protective of her
Annoyed by her at times Atticus Finch Scout and Jem's father
Widower
Lawyer
Very moral; strong sense of justice and equality Tom Robinson A black field hand from the community who is accused of raping a white woman
Atticus Finch is his lawyer Calpurnia The Finches’ black cook/maid
Stern disciplinarian
The children’s "bridge" between the white world and her own black community Bob & Mayella Ewell Very poor family (considered "white trash)
Bob is a drunk; often abuses his daughter, Mayella
Accuse Tom Robinson of raping Mayella Charles Baker Harris
("Dill") Little boy who comes to Maycomb every summer to visit his Aunt Rachel (neighbor to the Finch's)
Spunky, tells tall tales Arthur "Boo" Radley A recluse who never sets foot outside his house
Dominates the imaginations of Jem, Scout, and Dill
Neighborhood children think he is VERY creepy (no one has ever really seen him) Symbols and Themes/Motifs Good vs. Evil Social Inequality Small-Town Life Mockingbirds represent INNOCENCE
they don't do anything except make music
to kill one would be, literally, to kill innocence Old-fashioned, small-town values
the slow-paced, good-natured feel of life in Maycomb contrasts the suspense and fast-pace feel of the plot Very rigid social divisions in the community Are people inherently good or inherently evil?
Childhood innocence
How do we teach others to "be good"?
Faith in humanity when evil seems to "win"
Full transcript