Harper Lee and Scout Finch

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As with many authors, it is interesting to know that she used some of her personal experiences to influence her stories. One of these is “To Kill a Mockingbird”. In this story you will find several parallels with her life to the life of the main character in the book, Scout.

Amasa Coleman Lee was the father of Harper Lee. Not much is known about him, but around 1915 he became a lawyer. One specific case that he defended was that he once defended two black men, a father and son, who were accused of murdering a white store clerk. Scout’s father Atticus Finch was also a lawyer. Like Amasa, he defended two black people (Tom and his father) in front of an all white jury but was unable to help them.

Francis Cunningham Finch Lee was the mother of Harper Lee. Not much is known about her either except that she suffered from a mental illness, rarely leaving the house. Scout’s mother died of a heart attack before the events in the book took place, when she was two years old. Scout does not remember her at all. Though this may not seem like an outright parallel, the similarities exist. Lee uses all three of her mother’s names for characters in this book (“Happy Birthday Harper Lee”).

Harper Lee grew up in the small town of Monroeville, Alabama. She was a tomboy. While living here as a child, she befriended her neighbor Truman Streckfus Persons. The two where best friends and used to enjoy going to watch Lee’s father’s trials all the time. Scout lives in Maycomb, Alabama, which is based off of Monroeville, Alabama. In the story, she is an unruly tomboy and her best friend is Charles Baker Harris; also known as Dill. Like Truman, Dill is Scout’s neighbor. They also go and watch Scout’s father’s trials. There was a man who lived down the road from Harper and Truman. That man is compared to Aurthur “Boo” Radley. Truman emphasizes this when he says “In my original version of Other Voices, Other Rooms I had that same man living in the house that used to leave...
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