A. Harper Lee was born April 28, 1926, in Monroeville, Alabama. Harper Lee grew up and still sometimes resides in a small Alabama town in the southern part of the state, Monroeville. She undoubtedly was witness to some terrible racial interactions before and during the civil rights movement. The origin of Tom Robinson is less clear, though many have speculated that his character was inspired by several models. When Lee was 10 years old, a white woman near Monroeville accused a black man named Walter Lett of raping her. The story and the trial were covered by her father's newspaper, and Lett was convicted and sentenced to death. After a series of letters appeared claiming Lett had been falsely accused, his sentence was commuted to life in prison. He died there of tuberculosis in 1937. Scholars believe that the plot may have also been influenced by the notorious case of the Scottsboro Boys, in which nine black men were convicted of raping two white women on very poor evidence. However, in 2005 Lee stated that she had in mind something less sensational, although the Scottsboro case served "the same purpose" to display Southern prejudices. Emmett Till, a black teenager who was murdered for flirting with a white woman in Mississippi in 1955, and whose death is credited as a catalyst for the Civil Rights Movement, is also considered a model for Tom Robinson. The novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, takes place during a racially intense time in history. Harper Lee’s novel was intended to bring a harsh sense of reality to the real world, and demonstrate how it really was during this time in history. This novel is set in Maycomb, Alabama, somewhere during the time period of 1925-1935. Times were hard for the citizens of Maycomb during this period, because of the depression. There are many fictional events in this novel related to non-fictional racial events in history. B. Harper Lee book To Kill a Mocking Bird was influence by the events that happened in...
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