To kill a mockingbird 4

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD A novel by Harper Lee Harper Lee was born in 1926 in a small town in the southern state of Alabama. She was a lawyer's daughter, but she stated several times that To kill a mockingbird is not an autobio-graphical novel. It was written while Ms. Lee was working in New York, in the late fifties, and published in 1960. It became an instant success with both public and critics and won the author the Pulitzer Prize, the most important American literary award. It is still an in-ternational best-seller, with over thirty million copies sold. A successful film based on the novel was released, starring Gregory Peck as the lead character, for which role he received an Academy Award ('Oscar'). Harper Lee soon returned to Alabama, where she leads a solitary life, avoiding contact with media.

The novel, written in the first-person form describes life in a small town in the American South (Maycomb County, Alabama) in the thirties, as seen through the eyes of the narra-tor, a young girl, Jean-Louise 'Scout' Finch.

At the beginning, Scout is six years old. She is the daughter of the local lawyer, Atticus Finch, has a ten-year old brother, Jeremy ('Jem'), and is somewhat of a tomboy. Their mother died when Scout was two. Their servant Cal-purnia, a black lady, is treated as a member of the family. Atticus Finch is a proper gen-tleman and a most gentle father. Scout and Jem love and respect him very much. Scout is an intelligent and observant child. She reads newspapers and tends to discuss matters with her father as a grown-up. Still, due to the liberal and open-minded views of Atticus, Scout, and, to a lesser degree, Jem, the family doesn't fit well in the rural South, where racism and narrow-mindedness...