Harper Lee (1926 - )
To Kill a Mockingbird is a story, set in the 1930s, that explores small town life and prejudice in the South through the eyes of a child.
To Kill a Mockingbird was written in the 1950s as the civil rights movement was just gaining momentum. Although the story is set in the 1930s, the South had not changed very much by 1950. During the fifties, Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man, Martin Luther King began organizing non-violent protests, and the Supreme Court, in Brown vs. the Board of Education, ruled that segretation was unconstitutional.
American Cultural History 1930-1939 - A portrait of the decade in which the story is set
American Cultural History 1950-1959 - Get an idea of the life and times when Harper Lee wrote To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is a coming-of-age story about Scout Finch. She and her brother Jem, along with their friend Dill, are fascinated by a recluse neighbor, Boo Radley. While they attempt to spy on him, he leaves small gifts for them in the hollow of a tree. The children's father, lawyer Atticus Finch, is assigned to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman. His defense wins the gratitude of the black families in town and the contempt of the whites. When a lynch mob marches on the jail, Atticus sits reading, blocking their way. Scout, who has sneaked out of the house with Jeb and Dill, defuses the tension when she greets one of the men, the father of a classmate, by name and asks after his son.
Despite evidence to the contrary, an all-white jury convicts Tom and he is sent to prison. Bob Ewell, Mayella's father, isn't satisfied and attempts revenge on Atticus by attacking Scout and Jem one dark night as they walk home from a school program. They are saved by the intervention of Boo Radley and Scout finally gets to meet him face-to-face.
To Kill a Mockingbird is at times funny, sensitive and ingenuous. The novel received the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and Harper Lee was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007. It appears high on the Modern Library list of the 100 best novels of all time as well as many other lists of best books. In 1962, it was made into a film.
Topics to Consider
|Coming of Age Novels||Race Relations||Rape|
|Equality under the law||Civil Rights||Hypocrisy|
|Novel vs. Motion Picture||Symbolism||Humor|
|Prejudice vs. Tolerance||Censorship||Sex Roles|
|Guilt and Innocence||Characterization||Courage|
Librarian Talk ... about Books!
Books offer helpful information about historical background, settings, and authors. Literary criticism may be compiled in a book.The catalog is online at Lone Star College Library Catalog. If you want criticism of the novel itself, search by title. For setting and historical background, search for African Americans -- Civil rights -- Southern States -- History -- 20th century.
Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird - ed. by Harold Bloom, this is a book of essays discussing critical points within the novel. This ebook is available in the eBook Collection mentioned above. Login from off campus with your library barcode number.
Scholarly Journal Articles
Librarian Talk ... about Finding Scholarly Journal Articles!
So you need scholarly journal articles? At one time, you would find hard copies at a research library. Today, they are compiled in electronic databases. Electronic databases are purchased by the libraries for your research use. If you need assistance finding a particular article, contact the Reference Librarians and they will help you get it. They will need full bibliographic information - and your name and address. Send your phone number as well, so they can contact you if necessary.
Use the barcode number from your Lone Star College ID or library card to login to these online journal databases.
These databases are available to Lone Star College System students on campus or with your library card number. If you are a student at another school, check with your librarian for availability.
Search the Internet
Librarian Talk ... about the Internet!
The internet can be a wonderful source of original documents. You can find reviews from the time period when the book was published, background information about King Arthur and Mark Twain, and electronic copies of the book. Browse the sites we have suggested below. Remember, you do want to find reputable sites. Look at:
GETTING HELP FOR YOUR ASSIGNMENT
Librarian Talk ... About Finding Help
Support for a successful paper is more than finding the right resources. Putting it all together takes time and effort. Sometimes it takes additional help from the librarians or tutors. Please consider the following aids.
Citing Sources Using the Library MLA Style Guide | Lone Star College-Kingwood Library guide. Examples of both paper and electronic citations.
Avoiding Plagiarism | Excellent information and guide on how to avoid plagiarism from the Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University.
University of Texas Copyright Crash Course | This helpful guide on copyright is suggested by Lone Star College-Kingwood Teaching and Learning Center.
Learning Center | Offers tutoring services for Lone Star College-Kingwood students in most subjects as well as other services.