The Reader's Den - Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird
Harper Lee, also known as Nelle Harper Lee, was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She is the youngest of three children of Amasa Coleman Lee, a lawyer. Her mother was Frances Finch Lee. Her only book, To Kill a Mockingbird, has received numerous awards, including the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961. It was made into a film in 1962, in which star Gregory Peck won an Oscar, and has been translated into ten languages. The story was based on Lee’s childhood experiences. Harper Lee began a second novel in 1961, but it was never finished. She lives with her older sister in Monroeville, Alabama and maintains an apartment in New York City. Discussion Questions:
- Who was the mockingbird?
- How was the mockingbird killed?
- How is Atticus's sense of justice inferred when he tells the children they can shoot all the bluejays they want, but “it is a sin to kill a mockingbird”?
- Was Atticus successful in instilling conscience in his children?
- Was the teacher Miss Caroline unfair to Scout? How was the education system viewed?
- What happened to Dill? And how does his childhood compare to Scout’s and Jem’s?
- Why was Boo Radley never seen? Was he a villain, victim or hero?
- How were Scout and Jem affected by the trial?
- Was Capurnia happy with the Finches? Why did her personality change when she was at Church? Was she a realistic or idealized character?
- How is the town of Maycomb and the morality of its people portrayed? Did the trial make a difference in their lives?
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