Challenges In Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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In her incontestably classic work To Kill a Mockingbird, author Harper Lee says it best when she states through one of her characters, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This is one of many important moral lessons found in the book, and it is particularly appropriate that she say it. Not only does this story confront serious issues such as discrimination and the need for courage in the face of adversity, but it also has an autobiographical undertone. To Kill a Mockingbird is a literary treasure, but it is almost more an account of the author’s own life than a fiction novel. One of the most specific similarities between To Kill a Mockingbird …show more content…
Numerous academics equate the roots of To Kill a Mockingbird to the famous Scottsboro Trail, in which nine black boys were accused of raping two white women on a train in the early 1930’s (Taylor). This is a reasonable suggestion considering Lee would have been close to the same age as Scout at the time, and the case originated in her own state of Alabama. However, there is another case that could have impacted her even more. Author Charles Shields said in his book Mockingbird: A Portrait of Harper Lee, which was quoted by Art Taylor in his article, that a different incident involving the rape of a white woman by a black man occurred in Lee’s hometown, and was likely to affect the author on a deeper level. Whether this was true for Lee or not, there are other ties to her hometown in her …show more content…
Just like the fictitious community, Monroeville is a little farming town that was lashed by depression. In the 1930’s, the local newspaper was found to have informed the townspeople of rabid dog warnings, promotions for the V. J. Elmore’s store (where Jem bought Scout her baton in the novel), and even gave an account of the rape that may have influenced Lee to write an incredibly inspiring story years later (Harper Lee: Hey, Boo: Excerpt from Director Mary Murph 'ys Scout, Atticus, and Boo). The direct correlation between the towns is enthralling and endearing. PBS’s sponsored article stated that “Monroeville residents remember a boy who lived in a ramshackle house near the school who was not allowed out after a run-in with the law, and a schoolyard rumor [said] that the pecans from the trees at that house were poisoned.” (Harper Lee: Hey, Boo: Excerpt from Director Mary Murph 'ys Scout, Atticus, and Boo). The account goes on to say that one child even wore a ham costume similar to Scout’s to a pageant. Many of the town’s native inhabitants were delighted to discover “familiar names…events and situations [that] are tinged with local color” in the novel said the Monroe Journal in June of 1960, now quoted by PBS. It was an added treat to her hometown supporters, and further verification that Harper Lee’s tale is more than just a

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