To Kill A Mockingbird - MS. LEES' PEP PAGE

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To Kill A Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird? "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.” — Miss Maudie Think of “killing a mockingbird” like being prejudiced or unfairly judgmental toward someone who doesn’t deserve it. (this is a central theme in the story)

Introduction to the Novel About the Author – Harper Lee Born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama Daughter of a prominent lawyer 1960 – To Kill a Mockingbird published To Kill a Mockingbird might be considered semi-autobiographical She experienced the Great Depression She lived through the Scottsboro Trials “Scout” based on her life. “Dill” based on a childhood friend.

Historical Background To Kill a Mockingbird takes place from 1933 to 1935, during the height of the Great Depression.

Historical Background: The Great Depression 25% of population had no job Hundreds of thousands lost homes, farms and possessions Even those with jobs were affected because nothing was being produced GREAT DEPRESSION A period of extreme drought, poverty and hardships that lasted from 1929-1939. Average family income dropped to 50% by 1935 Stock Market Crash caused people to lose billions. Entire banks were wiped out and by 1933 over 60% of population was considered poor The novel takes place during the mid-1930s at a time when the government was attempting to stop the Great Depression. The President at the time, Franklin Roosevelt, famously said, “the only thing to fear is fear itself” as his government created programs to create jobs, house the homeless and feed the starving.

Historical Background – Race Relations Slavery was abolished in 1864, but many Southerners still believe in white supremacy. Jim Crow Laws enabled states to enforce legalized segregation Legalized segregation existed until the Civil Rights movement gradually brought about change

Historical Background 9 Black boys falsely accused of raping 2 white women. All white jury - found boys guilty despite medical evidence otherwise Even after one of the women admitted to lying, boys were still found guilty

Historical Background - Gender Gender Bias Women were the weaker sex. Education not important for women. Wealthy women were expected to supervise staff Men were not seen as nurturing

Historical Background Social Class in the 1930’s The social class structure in the novel is similar to how class structure existed during the 1930s 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 from To Kill a Mockingbird: Wealthy - Finches (well-respected, trustworthy, educated) Country Folk - Cunninghams (will not accept charity, always repay debts, hard working) “White Trash” – Ewells (live off the state, selfish, crude, refuse to work, spiteful) Black Community – Tom Robinson (proud, deeply religious, honest, hard working, family oriented.)

To Kill a Mockingbird? "Mockingbirds don't do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don't eat up people's gardens, don't nest in corncribs, they don't do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That's why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." — Miss Maudie Think of "killing a mockingbird" like being prejudiced or

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