“To Kill a Mockingbird”- Research Paper
What inspires you? When Nellie Harper Lee was writing about the trial of Tom Robinson, she had a very real case to look to for inspiration in the Scottsboro Boys Trials, from the 1930's. “Those trials showed how history made it clear that in the Deep South of the 1930's, jurors were not willing to accord a black man charged with raping a white woman the usual presumption of innocence” (Linder, “The Trials Of The Scottsboro Boy’s”). In Harpers Lee's story, “To Kill a Mockingbird”, she uses the conflict of 'person versus society' to bring the injustice of African-American's and their treatment at the hands of Southern bigotry, to the attention of the world. Therefore, we see many similarities between the Scottsboro Boys Trials of the 1930’s and the trial of Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The main connection between literature and history is that literature is used to report and represent history. The two are intertwined with one another, history being factual form and literature being the artistic and entertaining form. I believe that Harper Lee's life inspired her to create “To Kill a Mockingbird”. According to Harper Lee’s biography, she was accepted to the law school at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, but dropped out after one and one-half years to follow her true calling (Harper Lee. The Biography Channel website). I believe that her experience from living in Monroeville, Alabama and her knowledge of law, gave Lee a strong foundation for developing the story line of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. The trials of the Scottsboro Boys, was an event in Alabama’s history that has many similarities to the literary trial of Tom Robinson in Lee’s, “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Both trials have conflict between African Americans and the deep seeded bigotry that was prevalent in the South during the 1930’s. In a 1931 report on the Scottsboro Trials by the ACLU, it was noted that the one...
Cited: Ransdall, Hollace. “REPORT ON THE SCOTTSBORO, ALA. CASE.” Famous American Trials "The
Sottsboro Boys" ACLU, unpublished)(1931) 2 April 2013
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