Why Did Harper Lee Write “To Kill A Mockingbird”
Written by Harper Lee, “To Kill A Mockingbird” was one of the best selling novels in the decade of sixties. It is the right of every inquisitive mind to question what influenced Lee to ink To Kill A Mockingbird and what she wanted to accomplish through this writing piece.
Harper Lee of Alabama
The plot of To Kill a Mocking Bird is set in the town of Monroeville, Alabama, where Pulitzer Prize-winning author Harper Lee grew up just a few blocks from the old courthouse. Harper Lee arrived in the world on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She was the youngest of the four siblings and never really had any family responsibilities to take care of.
Apparently, she was a tomboy whereas for the opposite part of her persona, she was an avid reader and used to invest major chunk of her time in penning down her thoughts and ideas in form of short stories or notes. Gradually, her passion for writing grew stronger and she left her studies and a clerical job to pursue her career in the art of crafting letters, symbols, ideas and thoughts on paper. Her writing portfolio is made of a number of short stories for children and adults based on moral issues as well as her masterpiece—To Kill A Mockingbird.
Narration of To Kill a Mocking Bird
Harper Lee had the habit of communicating simple messages to her readers in simple words which has been reflected in every piece that comprised her work. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, Lee has loosely linked the characters and events to her personal life. The book is a narration by a young school girl Scout who lives with her brother Jem and father Atticus Finch. Scout, Jem and their friend Dill are unaware of the norms of ‘social discrimination’ and treat everyone alike. Atticus is an attorney and major part of the novel revolves around a legal case in which a Negro is falsely accused of raping a white woman—the Negro is saved from conviction by Atticus who, as a consequence has to go through a number of scourges.
Lee sees herself as Scout whose mind was as pure as hers. Her father was an editor cum lawyer who highlighted the rights of blacks through his writings and his active contribution in Alabama State Legislature from 1926 to 1938. When Lee was ten years of age, she came across the unfortunate case of a group of nine black boys called ‘Scottsboro Boys’ which left a dark impression on his mind—each one of the nine boys were sentenced to death on the fake charge of raping two white women. The message which Lee wanted to put across was that children are innocent and do not have the ability to recognize evil unless they are forced to experience it. It is we, the adults, who have given birth (and fuel) to the concepts of prejudice and racism in the society whereas children strongly disapprove of any such convention.