Essay on Nelle Harper Lee

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Nelle Harper Lee

Miss. Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926, in Moroeville Alabama, where her father practiced as a lawyer and served as a state senator. She grew up as the youngest out of 4 children, and was the only one to pursue a literary career. She received her early education in public schools, and from 1945-1949 she attended University of Alabama, studying law. She moved to New York, without carrying out the requirements for her degree in law, and there worked as an airline reservation clerk. Shortly after, she left her clerk position to concentrate her efforts on her first novel.

To Kill a Mockingbird went through various stages of revision, over a two and a half year period, before hitting the shelves in
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Like Harper Lee, Scout is the youngest of her family, and is forced to work her way through the trials of adolescence. Scout seems almost a mirror image of Miss. Lee herself.

Much like the way Scout resembles Lee, it seems other characters in the book have been drawn from Lee’s relations and acquaintances. For instance, she has integrated the fine qualities of her own father, Amasa Coleman Lee, into Atticus Finch, the father of Scout and Jem. Both were intelligent and fair men, who raised children accordingly, and both started with petty jobs and later went on to study and practice law in small communities, to support their families. It was said that Mr. Lee even autographed childrens’ books as “Atticus Finch” instead of Amasa Lee. Truman Capote, a childhood friend of Harper Lee’s, was said to have been inspiration for the young character, Dill. This is often the case with many authors. Influential events and people, create new experiences for the imagination to expand upon, leaving loads of opportunity for minor plots in a story.

Many family names, another common happening in writings, were also incorporated into the novel. Finch is the maiden name of Miss. Lee’s mother, and Cunningham was derived from her father’s side. Louise, (Jean Louise Finch) was a sister to Lee, and was thrilled to have her name appear in the novel.

Harper Lee has an incredible way of bringing a book to life through her defined characters. She presents

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