How Harper Lee's Life Influenced To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird is the first and the last book that Harper Lee wrote. Lee’s life is evident, clearly exhibiting her past experiences as inspiration. Growing up in the 1930’s with her friends, living through The Great Depression with her family, and hearing about the Scottsboro Trials near her home in Monroeville, Alabama, adds to the great allusions attributing this writing. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee’s biography fills the book influencing the story.
Many of the characters parallel those close to Harper Lee. Primarily, Lee’s parents, Amasa Lee and Frances Finch Lee, inspired the character of Atticus Finch and to set the family name in the novel, Finch. “Her father, Amasa Lee, ...

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not support them emotionally and socially. “Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment” (Lee 6). According to Jem and Scout, Atticus is sufficient, but doesn’t give that little extra to show them compassion and true love. Even though Atticus is not conveyed to be as heartless as Amasa, Lee still uses some of her father’s traits to create the character of Atticus Finch.
Lee’s mother, Frances Finch Lee, on the other hand is used influentially to establish, “the central family name in the novel” (Moss et al NP). She is not used to create a character, physically; however, Lee still insightfully uses her mother as inspiration. Harper Lee’s parents’ prominent influence can be clearly seen throughout the story as observations from Lee’s point of view.
Another fictional figure created in the story is Dill based on Truman Capote. “As a child, Lee befriended Capote” (Baxter NP). Lee describes Capote as “a wildly ...

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and friends to create the main characters, with important purposes later revealed in the story.
Lee’s life not only inspired the creation of the characters, but the setting as well. “[Harper] Nelle grew up in Monroeville, Alabama” (O’Neill 14). Harper Lee grew up in a small town much like Scout in the story. “Marianne M. Moates, describes Monroeville as ‘a small town with tree-lined sidewalks, a downtown square, and friendly people who lived in houses with big front porches’” (O’Neill 14). According to Moates’s descriptions, Monroeville is very similar to Maycomb, Alabama. Lee describes Maycomb as “an old town…grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square” (Lee 5). In ...

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Added: 5/22/2011 03:19:10 PM
Submitted By: ladnabasnitram
Category: Book Reports
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1597
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