Harper Lee

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Ashley Ewing Dr. Cohoon Literary Heritage 18 February 2013 Essay One Southern Parallels: An Exploration of the Life of Harper Lee and the Lasting Impact of To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee is considered one of America’s most enigmatic and influential writers of the twentieth century. Lee’s popular novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, offers readers deep insight into the dynamics of an unconventional family and Southern lifestyle in the1930s. Harper Lee was born Nelle Harper Lee on April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama (Sparknotes.com). According to the author’s official website, Harper Lee was a descendant of famous Civil War general, Robert E. Lee, and daughter to a former newspaper editor turned state senator and practicing attorney.…show more content…
It explores the family dynamic of the Ewell family, the Radley family and the Finch family and addresses the different mentalities of families with different socioeconomic statuses. Harper Lee completed the novel in 1957 and, after revisions, published it in 1960, just before the peak of the civil rights movement. John Hiett called it “a nuanced indictment of racism, [which] helped trigger the Civil Rights Movement and forced many Southerners to reexamine their attitudes.” While the critical responses to To Kill a Mockingbird were mixed: a number of critics found the narrative voice of a nine-year-old girl unconvincing and called the novel overly moralistic. It is a coming-of-age story focusing on the importance of empathy, perception, bravery, and acceptance and the book remains a staple of high school and college reading lists, beloved by millions of readers worldwide for its appealing depiction of childhood innocence, its scathing moral condemnation of racial prejudice, and its affirmation that human goodness can withstand the assault of evil. The novel has never been out of print and sells over a million copies each year (Sparknotes.com). This American classic, has been influencing readers for decades and will continue to do so. Work Cited Hiett, John. "Hey, Boo: Harper Lee & To Kill A Mockingbird; The Untold Story Behind A Great American Novel." Library Journal (1976) 136.14 (2011):

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