Scout and Jem run to the local school where barefoot, sometimes hungry children of the unemployed parents and farmers play, fight in the schoolyard, sit in the one class with them. The first school impressions of Jean Louise are sometimes anxious and distressing, sometimes amusing. Very funny part of the book describes how a young, helpless teacher communicates with skeptical first-graders who are wiser than she in a practical sense.
Sensitiveness, intelligence, crafty and kind humor of the father, not softening the insoluble contradictions of reality, helps the children to orient themselves in it, to solve their own moral problems independently. There is no didactics in Finch's house. The family lives at ease. They quarrel and make peace again.
But from the very young age, Jean Louise and Jem strive to have kind feelings, clear head and firm hand like their father. Experts from around the world say that translating Harper Lee's book is not so simple process as it may seem when you read this prose - clear and easy. It is very difficult to move from a small Jean Louise to an adult woman: the vocabulary and the rhythm of speech change, and yet it is necessary to preserve the individuality of the heroine. In the modern American literature, there are many interesting phenomena, and what is most interesting, usually they are marked by a very gloomy, sometimes painful outlook on life.
But the book of Harper Lee is a rare exception from this rule. There is an abundance of cheap optimism and sugary humanity on the pages of books of popular American authors. There is a separate "market" for this, as well as for everything else. But here, the painted picture is not presented to the reader.
Here, we see life in all its contrasts that are by no means reducible to a happy common good. And the fact that in the heart of this atmosphere we find a kind, brave, thoughtful man whom we want to have as our neighbor and whose children we want to introduce to our kids causes a feeling of gratitude to the author of this book.
In the last century, Harper Lee published just one book - "To Kill a Mockingbird", but it was enough to enter the history of world literature. For 50 years after this event, Lee remained silent. But in , her fans learned about the release of the second book "Go Set a Watchman", which is simultaneously the prehistory and continuation of the novel about Atticus Finch and his kids. In , the writer died, and the first work remained the main legacy of her life. Harper was born in a small town Monroeville, Alabama - one of the most racially intolerant US states. Traditionally, the leaders of the Ku Klux Klan organization had a great political influence in Alabama.
The girl's family was large. Father worked as a lawyer and, for some time, as an editor of the newspaper. All these facts formed the basis for the plot of the book which later entered the American school curriculum.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Before that, she wrote novels only in her spare time and worked as a regular clerk. In , Lee's friends made her a great gift - the sum equal to her annual income. They wanted Harper to promise that she would quit her job and finally write a book. So, with the help of real friends, Harper Lee created the work that brought her the Pulitzer Prize, instantly became a bestseller and preserves this status till now. The novel is largely autobiographical. Harper's father also was a lawyer. Another future writer Truman Capote, who became the prototype of Dill, lived next to her.
He is one of the main American writers of the 60's, the author of many novels which have been repeatedly filmed. For example, the plot of the famous comedy "Breakfast at Tiffany's" with Audrey Hepburn was taken from his book. They suspected that the writing of the book took place not without the help of Truman Capote with whom Lee did not cease to communicate until his death.
The writer himself denied this point of view many times, thereby discouraging the desire of the press to communicate on this topic. However, periodically, this issue was raised again during decades of waiting for Lee's new novel.
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The story of the trial of Tim Robinson also has real roots: in , in Alabama, nine black men later called "Scottsboro Boys" were accused of raping two white women and sentenced to death without providing them with due legal protection. It was impossible to call this process fair. The suspects were almost lynched before the investigation.
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They met with a lawyer only in the courtroom. In addition, according to a medical examination, women were not raped. The jury, however, found each of them guilty and sentenced eight people to death. The ninth, the youngest he was only thirteen , escaped this fate. During the appellate process, which lasted more than six years, most of the charges were dropped and seven prisoners were released. This case, despite the fact that Harper was only five years old at the time of the trial, made an indelible impression on the future writer.
A year after the beginning of the work on the book, a draft entitled "Go Set a Watchman" quotation from Book of Isaiah, was ready. However, the editor suggested changing the title to something less pretentious. As a result, we know this work under the name "To Kill a Mockingbird". The novel was published in , and the following year Harper Lee received the Pulitzer Prize. Multi-million copies of the book were printed around the world. With incredible speed, two years after the novel's appearance, the American drama "To Kill a Mockingbird" was filmed with Gregory Peck, superstar of that time, in the main role.
The screen adaptation received eight nominations for the Oscar and three awards. The author liked the screen version. After viewing, she expressed the following thought: if the merit of the movie can be measured by the level of conveying of the writer's intention, then the film of should be studied as a classic example of such adaptation.
Harper was a friend for the performer of the main role until his death. Numerous awards, autographs, interviews - Harper Lee was not ready for success. She hoped that critics would destroy her quickly and painlessly. But, at the same time, she wanted to find readers who would like the book.
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With such support she could continue to write. As a result, Lee received more than she hoped. But this outcome frightened her much more than "merciful death" at the hands of critics which she expected. All this led to the fact that Harper remained the author of the one novel.
She stopped giving interviews and appearing at social events. In , Lee broke the silence for the first time in 40 years by publishing an article in the journal of the TV presenter Oprah Winfrey, in which she described childhood memories related to reading. Harper wrote that in a society of abundance where people had laptops, mobile phones, iPods, their minds were similar to empty rooms, she continued to live in the surrounding of books.
Everyone was waiting for her to tell something important about an unwritten or written book, about herself, about America. However, the writer refused any speeches in advance. It is possible that all these years she continued to write - just did not want to publish her works.
To date, we can read only one more serious book mentioned above - the novel "Go Set the Watchman", which is the original version of the publication of According to the plot, she returns from New York to hometown Maycomb to visit her father Atticus. The woman has to face personal and political problems. At the same time, she tries to understand the father and her own feelings.
The book was written before "To Kill a Mockingbird", but the editor liked the scenes with memories of Jean's childhood so much that he advised Harper Lee to focus on this period of the heroine's life and to completely change the plot. Since the author was an inexperienced writer, she used this recommendation.
The fact that Harper Lee spoke little about "Go Set the Watchman" attracts the attention of connoisseurs of literature. Her interests were mostly represented by a lawyer Tonja Carter. The public felt a certain dirty trick. It is quite suspicious that the talented lawyer of a deaf and almost blind old woman limited meetings and any communication with her client. There were guesses that Tonja was just making up the answers to a number of significant questions about the publication of the novel.
So, answering about what the book was doing in the "banking cell" all these years, Carter stated that Harper Lee simply forgot about it. However, there are many stories when, after the death of the writer, most of what she did not want to see in the press was published. You can also look through other racism essay topics on the internet. Such an analysis will help you better understand the idea of the book and why the author decided to consider the issue of racial discrimination.
To Kill a Mockingbird
Before the First World War, the black population of the United States consisted of about 10 million people. It may seem that the answer is elementary. But everything was more complicated for the Americans. The popular proverb claimed: "One drop of Negro blood makes you a Negro". The legislative practice of the United States of the early 20th century completely shared this view.
But even this was not enough! In the s, South Carolina legislators voted for the bill according to which each person in whom there is at least a drop of Negro blood was considered a Negro. True, the adoption of this law was hampered in the upper house because, according to one of the senators, after its introduction on the same day, the whole state will be covered with blood, and moreover, there will be no purely white family. Some of them, in spite of the prohibitions, pretended to be white.
The life of these ten million people was regulated by a system of racist customs called the Jim Crow laws.