introducing harper lee s to kill a mocking bird by rob reetz english concepts 9b l.
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Introducing Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird By: Rob Reetz English Concepts 9B. Today’s presentation. Harper Lee (Author) Setting Plot Characters Themes/Symbols. Harper Lee - author. Born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama Youngest of four children

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introducing harper lee s to kill a mocking bird by rob reetz english concepts 9b
Introducing Harper Lee’s

To Kill a Mocking Bird

By: Rob Reetz

English Concepts 9B

today s presentation
Today’s presentation
  • Harper Lee (Author)
  • Setting
  • Plot
  • Characters
  • Themes/Symbols
harper lee author
Harper Lee - author
  • Born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama
  • Youngest of four children
  • 1957 – submitted manuscript for her novel; was urged to rewrite it
  • Spent over two years reworking it
  • 1960 – To Kill a Mockingbird (her only novel) published
  • Novel is based on her life growing up in Monroeville, Alabama and experiencing the Scottsboro trials
setting time and place
SETTING – Time and Place
  • Story takes place in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama
  • From the years 1933–1935
  • Historical context:
    • Segregated South
    • During the Great Depression
major historical influences
Major Historical influences
  • Jim Crow Laws
  • Scottsboro Trials
  • Recovering from the Great Depression
  • Racial Injustice
  • Poor South
jim crow laws
Jim Crow Laws
  • After the Civil War most states in the South passed anti-African American legislation. These became known as Jim Crow laws.
  • Laws included segregation in…
    • Schools
    • Hospitals
    • Theaters
    • Water fountains
    • Restaurants
    • Hotels
    • Public transportation
    • Some states forbid inter-racial marriages
scottsboro trials
Scottsboro Trials
  • 9 young African-American men (13-20) falsely accused of raping 2 white girls in 1931
  • Immediately sentenced to death
  • Trials went on for nearly 15 years before all the men were dismissed
  • Trials caused HUGE uproar amongst the black community
the great depression
The Great Depression
  • 1929-1939 (start coincided with the great stock market crash of 1929
  • Herbert Hoover was president but did little to stimulate economy
    • Schools, farms and factories all shut down
    • People could not pay their taxes
    • Banks could not pay out money
    • Some families became homeless and had to live in shanties
    • Others relocated in search of jobs
the new deal
The New Deal
  • Unemployment reached 30% in 1933
  • It wasn’t until FDR became president that people began to experience HOPE
  • FDR wrote and passed through congress the “New Deal” legislation
plot to kill a mockingbird
Plot – To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Story of a young girl whose attorney father, Atticus Finch, defends an African-American man in the racially segregated Deep South
  • Scout narrates in the first person, telling retrospectively what she saw, heard and thought at the time
  • Novel is considered lighthearted but deals with very serious issues, including rape and racial injustices
main characters in to kill a mockingbird
Main Characters in To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Scout (Jean Louise Finch) – six-year-old narrator of story
  • Jem (Jeremy Finch) – her older brother
  • Atticus Finch – Jem and Scout’s father, a prominent lawyer
  • Charles Baker (Dill) Harris – Jem and Scout’s friend who comes to visit his aunt in Maycomb each summer
  • Arthur (Boo) Radley – a thirty-three-year-old recluse who lives next door
  • Tom Robinson – a respectable black man accused of raping a white woman
  • Calpurnia – the Finches’ black cook
  • Bob Ewell -  A drunken, mostly unemployed member of Maycomb’s poorest family.
  • Miss Maudie Atkinson
scout jean louise finch
Scout(Jean Louise Finch)
  • Narrator and protagonist
  • Lives with her father, Atticus, her brother, Jem, and their black cook, Calpurnia, in Maycomb
  • Intelligent tomboy
  • Scout has a basic faith in the goodness of the people in her community
jem finch atticus finch
Jem Finch Atticus Finch
  • Scout’s older brother by 4 years
  • Plays with and protects Scout throughout the novel
  • Jem moves into adolescence during the story, and his ideals are shaken badly by the evil and injustice that he perceives during the trial of Tom Robinson.
  • Scout and Jem’s father
  • Lawyer in charge of defending Tom Robinson in court.
    • Robinson is charged with raping a white woman
  • One of few in Maycomb who believes in racial equality
dill harris arthur boo radley
Dill HarrisArthur “Boo” Radley
  • A recluse who never sets foot outside his house
  • Dominates the imaginations of Jem, Scout, and Dill.
  • Intelligent child emotionally damaged by his cruel father, Boo provides an example of the threat that evil poses to innocence and goodness. He is a “mockingbird”
  • Jem and Scout’s summer neighbor and friend
  • Small but confident boy with an active imagination.
  • Dill is fascinated with Boo Radley and represents the perspective of childhood innocence throughout the novel.
  • Based upon Harper Lee’s real neighbor Truman Capote
tom robinson calpurnia
Tom RobinsonCalpurnia
  • Finches’ black cook
  • Stern disciplinarian and the children’s bridge between the white world and her own black community.
  • black field hand accused of raping Mayella Ewell
  • one of the novel’s “mockingbirds,” an important symbol of innocence destroyed by evil.
bob ewell miss maudie atkinson
Bob Ewell Miss Maudie Atkinson



Shares Atticus’s

passion for


and is the


best friend




  • Drunken, mostly unemployed member of Maycomb’s poorest family.
  • knowingly and wrongfully accuses Tom Robinson of raping his daughter Mayella Ewell
  • represents the dark side of the South: ignorance, poverty, and hate-filled racial prejudice.
themes in to kill a mockingbird
Themesin To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Coexistence of Good and Evil
    • Are people essentially good or essentially evil?
    • Involves the threat that hatred, prejudice, and ignorance pose to the innocent
  • Importance of Moral Education
    • Atticus devotes himself to instilling a social conscience in Jem and Scout.
  • Existence of Social Inequality
    • Differences in social status are explored largely through the…for example:
social class in the novel
Social Class in the Novel

This is probably similar to how class structure existed during the 1930’s in the South. The wealthy, although fewest in number, were most powerful. The blacks, although great in number, were lowest on the class ladder, and thus, had the least privileges.

Examples of each social class:

Wealthy - Finches

Country Folk - Cunninghams

“White Trash” – Ewells

Black Community – Tom Robinson

symbols from to kill a mockingbird
Symbols from To Kill A Mockingbird
  • Mockingbirds
    • Story of innocents destroyed by evil, the “mockingbird” comes to represent the idea of innocence. Thus, to kill a mockingbird is to destroy innocence.
  • Boo Radley
    • the children’s changing attitude toward Boo Radley is an important measurement of their development from innocence toward a grown-up moral perspective
    • Boo, an intelligent child ruined by a cruel father, is one of the book’s most important mockingbirds; he is also an important symbol of the good that exists within people.