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Harper Lee


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Background info on harper lee and the connection between her novel and "Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry"

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Harper Lee

  1. 1. Harper Lee
  2. 2. Background <ul><li>Harper Lee was born in Alabama, Monroeville on April 28 1926. She is the youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and the Cunningham Finch. As a child, she was a tomboy who enjoyed reading and loved the company of her friend, Truman Capote. </li></ul><ul><li>After graduating from high school in Monroeville, Harper Lee enrolled at Huntingdon college in Montgomery for two years. Then she went to the University of Alabama to pursue a law degree. While there, she wrote for several student publications and spent a year as the editor of a magazine. Though she did not complete the law degree, she studied for a summer in Oxford, England before moving to New York in 1950. While in New York, Harper Lee worked as a reservation clerk with Eastern Air Lines and BOAC. </li></ul><ul><li>She continued as a reservation clerk until the late 50’s, when she decided to write. During this time, she had to travel between her cold-water-only apartment in New York and her family home in Alabama to care for her father. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Harper Lee’s novel ‘ To Kill A Mockingbird ’ <ul><li>This immediate best seller and winner of great critical acclaim, was published on July 11 th 1960. </li></ul><ul><li>It remains a bestseller with more than 30 million copies in print. In 1999, it was voted &quot;Best Novel of the Century&quot; in a poll by the Library Journal. </li></ul><ul><li>The novel To Kill A Mockingbird is a story about innocence, knowledge, prejudice and courage. In the beginning the main character, Scout, starts out to be a very immature child not knowing the prejudice times around her, as the story goes on she gains knowledge of these times by fellow kids around her accusing her dad of being a “negra lover&quot; which then, it was an insult. Her dad was being courageous of a black man being falsely accused of raping a white girl. Her dad, Atticus, is a criminal defense attorney only doing his job and not discriminating against this man. The line in the book &quot;Shoot, all the blue jays you want, but remember its a sin to kill mockingbird&quot; is referring to the black man in the story, Tom. He symbolizes a mockingbird because all mockingbirds do is sing for our enjoyment and stay out of harms way, so if you kill them its a sin. Tom is the mockingbird in the story, trying to stay out of harms way but ends up guilty and sent to jail, where he soon tried to escape but ends up being killed by a gunshot. </li></ul>
  4. 4. Background (after ‘To Kill a Mockingbird) <ul><li>After completing To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee accompanied Truman Capote to Holcomb, Kansas, to help him research an article on a murder case. Truman expanded the articles information into his best-selling book In Cold Blood. </li></ul><ul><li>With her best-selling novel completed, Harper Lee began work on two other novels, The Long Goodbye and one based on a serial killer, but she eventually got bored and put them aside. </li></ul><ul><li>In 1962, To Kill a Mockingbird was presented as a Academy Award-winning screenplay by Horton Foote. </li></ul><ul><li>Harper Lee becomes friends Gregory Peck, winner of an Oscar for his portrayal of Atticus Finch, the father of the To Kill a Mockingbird ’s narrator, Scout. She remains close to the actor's family. Peck's grandson, Harper Peck Voll, is named after her. </li></ul><ul><li>In June 1966, Lee was one of two persons named by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the National Council on the Arts. </li></ul><ul><li>Harper Lee has been known to move between her apartment in New York and her sister’s home in Monroeville. She has accepted honorary degrees but has declined to present speeches. In March 2005, she went to Philadelphia, her first trip to the city, to receive the inaugural ATTY Award. She later travelled to Los Angeles to accept the Los Angeles Public Library Literacy Award. On May 21, 2006, she accepted an honorary degree from the University of Notre Dame. </li></ul>
  5. 5. To Kill a Mockingbird ’s Relation to Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry! <ul><li>To Kill a Mockingbird is related in Roll Of Thunder Hear My Cry! The most common relation between the two novels is that they are both set in the time when white people were prejudice towards black people. Secondly, they are both set in small towns. Another relation is that the narrator of both books are young girls. Fourthly, there are still some white folk that treat black people with the same respect as they do with white people. The final reason is that the children in both novels learn about the racism in the world they live in. </li></ul>