The characters in the novel were based on the people Harper Lee knew throughout her life. According to an article entitled “Harper Lee” Encyclopedia of world biography, Harper Lee’s father served in the Alabama State Legislature. Within the same article it is also noted that Lee’s mother had the middle name of Finch (“Harper Lee”). In the novel the family’s last name is Finch and the model of Atticus who was inspired by Lee’s father.
The setting in the novel was based on where Harper Lee grew up and was raised to be what she is today. Based on the article entitled: “Harper Lee” Great American Writers: Twentieth Century, Lee was inspired by where she grew up to write her novel. According to the novel Scout was born in Maycomb, Alabama.
The central conflict in the novel is the Tom Robinson case which was inspired by the “Scottsboro case”. According to an article entitled: “Scottsboro case” American Murder (2008) Mayo, Mike, nine black men were accused of raping 3 white women. Also within the same article, the Scottsboro brothers were arrested and some freed. The connection within the novel is when Tom Robinson was accused of raping Mayella Ewell.
So, Harper Lee’s life influenced the novel and also the lives of others who have read it over these many years.