To Kill a Mockingbird - Mrs. Tucker's Class Web Site

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Transcript To Kill a Mockingbird - Mrs. Tucker's Class Web Site

To Kill a Mockingbird

By Harper Lee

Goals for Lesson

• We will learn about the following aspects of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird : Author Contextual Setting Novel’s Theme

9 th Grade Alabama Course of Study Objectives • Compare the use of language and literary elements and devices, including rhythm, rhyme scheme, tone, and plot, in various selections, cultures, and genres.

• Identify literary components that contribute to authors’ style.

• Determine word meaning in world literature selections using word analysis and context clues.

• Write in narrative, expository, and persuasive modes using figurative language and imagery, including simile and metaphor, when effective and appropriate.

AHSGE Reading Objectives • Identify supporting details • Determine sequence of events • Follow directions • Identify main ideas • Draw conclusions • Determine cause and effect • Recognize summary statements • Analyze literary elements • Understand figurative language • Determine meaning of words • Preview and predict

Harper Lee

Harper Lee

• Nellie Harper Lee • Born April 28, 1926 • Monroeville, Alabama • Childhood Friend of Truman Capote • Studied Law

Harper Lee

• Worked with Capote in Holcomb, Kansas, to research

In Cold Blood

• Pulitzer Prize in 1961 for

To Kill a Mockingbird

• Lives in New York • Very Reclusive

SETTING OF THE NOVEL • Maycomb, Alabama • Southern United States • 1930’s –Great Depression –Prejudice and Legal Segregation –Ignorance

Harper Lee vs. Scout The novel is not autobiographical, but… • Harper Lee • She grew up in 1930’s in rural Alabama town • Father was an attorney, who served in the state legislature.

• Scout Finch • She is growing up in 1930’s in rural Alabama town • Father is an attorney, who serves in the state legislature.

(Truman Capote) were playmates.

• She was an avid reader as a child.

• She is an avid reader as a child.

• She was six years old when the neighbor (Dill) are playmates.

• She is six years old when the Scottsboro trials were widely trial of Tom Robinson takes covered in the newspapers.


•1930’s •The Great Depression •The Dust Bowl

1930’s - Great Depression began when the stock market crashed in October, 1929 • Businesses failed, factories closed.

–People were out of work.

–Even people with money suffered because nothing was being produced for sale.


• Farm Depression of the 1920’s • Prices of farm products fell about 40% in 1920-1921, and they remained low through the 1920’s.

• As a result some farmers lost so much money they couldn’t pay the mortgage on their farms.

• They either had to rent the land or move.


• Uneven Distribution of Income • Industrial productions increased about 50%, but the wages of the industrial workers rose far more slowly.

• As a result these workers couldn’t buy goods as fast as industry produced them.


• The Stock Market Crash • Stock values dropped rapidly on October 24, 1929, now known as Black Thursday.

• The next Monday stock prices fell again.

• On Tuesday stock holders panicked and sold a record 16,410,030 shares of stocks.

• Thousands of people lost huge sums of money as stock values fell far below the prices paid for them.

Poor people lost their homes, were forced to “live off the land.”

Unemployment rose to 30%

Hoovervilles Seattle, Washington Pres. Herbert Hoover 1929-1933

Migrant Farming Camps

The Dust Bowl

Dodge City, Kansas

Garden City, KS

Garden City, KS, 15 Minutes Later

Prejudices in the Novel • Race • Gender • Handicaps • Rich/Poor • Age • Religion

Racial prejudice was alive & well. Although slavery had ended in 1864, old ideas were slow to change.

The Supreme Court ruled that separate but equal was legal. These laws became known as Jim Crow Laws.

Racial Separation (Segregation)

Gender Bias (Prejudice) • Women were considered “weak” • Women were generally not educated for occupations outside the home • In wealthy families, women were expected to oversee the servants and entertain guests • Men not considered capable of nurturing children

Legal Issues of the 1930’s • Women given the vote in 1920 • Juries were MALE and WHITE • “Fair trial” did not include acceptance of a black man’s word against a white man’s

Point of View • First Person Narrative –Story is told by Scout, a 10-year old girl.

–Harper Lee is actually a woman; Scout represents the author as a little girl although the story is not strictly autobiographical.

Characters • Atticus Finch - an attorney whose wife has died, leaving him to raise their two children: -Jem – 10-year-old boy -Scout – (Jean Louise), 6-year-old girl

• Tom Robinson – a black man accused of raping white girl; he is defended at trial by Atticus.

• Calpurnia – older black woman who is like a mother to the children.

• Boo – a recluse, whom the children love to taunt.

Reading the Novel • Setting is all important. • Point of View – the novel is shaped by the voice of a young girl who sees the story from a position of naïve acceptance.

• “Goodness vs. Ignorance (Evil)” is an important theme.