Why did Harper Lee write Kill a Mockingbird?

+39 votes
asked Apr 25, 2015 in Entertainment by IsabelleGilb (260 points)
What was the major reason why Harper Lee wrote the book, To Kill A Mockingbird?

2 Answers

+27 votes
answered Aug 4, 2015 by LeonelGoold2 (370 points)

Several factors could be said to have influenced her into writing the novel, some of these reasons include:

  • Frances Cunningham Finch was Harper Lee's mother. All three of her mother's names came up in the book as characters.
  • Lee met a boy named Truman Streckfus while in nursery. Both Truman and Lee found a friend in each other and their bonding was a quick one. The character Dill, known for his odd articulate nature was based on Truman.
  • Harper Lee lived in Monroeville, a small town, which shared several similarities with Maycomb, Alabama, the setting of the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Both towns had grand courthouses, neighbors who were interested in every other person's business, and one mysterious, solitary resident who terrified and fascinated the kids in the neighborhood. According to Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird wasn't a kind of autobiography, but the relationship between her childhood environment and Maycomb was to add more flesh to Maycomb's landscape. Lee gathered lots of ideas from her childhood town.
  • Like Scout's father, Harper Lee's father was a lawyer. Lee's father was once the lawyer that defended a black father and son accused of killing a white store keeper. Just like Atticus Finch, he was not able to get his two black clients acquitted, and they were sentenced to death by hanging. He soon left criminal law and became a title lawyer.

These are the main points I know, hope they are of help.

+2 votes
answered Sep 2, 2015 by ValentinaBee (230 points)

Why did Harper Lee write Kill a Mockingbird? Some people may hold the view that it is an autobiographical novel. And this is, in some extant, evidential.

Harper Lee never fails to claim there was nothing autobiographical about her novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. Nevertheless, here are a few similarities between the Atticus Finch and Scout. Like Atticus Finch, Lee's father was a southern-based lawyer. Lee's childhood friends said she was more of a tomboy, like scout as a kid. And Lee had a very special friend just like Dill who visited every summer and later became the famous author, Truman Capote.

According to Lee, she was influenced by the same thing that influences several authors – her personal experiences while growing up. Additionally, Lee wished to pass a message concerning the civil rights movement which was at its peak in 1960, same year the book was published. Though the book had a setting about the 1930's, it says a lot about treating everyone right, especially the African-Americans. Lee addresses tolerance and prejudice, and mostly the courage required to make important changes in the society. These thoughts, coupled with Lee's personal experiences, possibly motivated the writing of the Pulitzer winning novel.

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