Last Updated 10 Mar 2020

Harper Lee’s Influence on Scout

Category Harper Lee
Essay type Research
Words 566 (2 pages)
Views 283

Harper Lee grew up in Monroeville, Alabama where girls were expected to be ladies, Harper Lee was just the opposite, a tomboy, and she wrote her famous novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” based upon her childhood experiences. Harper Lee made her main character Scout to be very similar to her. Harper Lee created the town of Maycomb with features almost exactly like Monroeville. Harper Lee based Scout’s father Atticus after her own father Amasa Coleman Lee. Harper Lee based her book “To Kill A Mockingbird” about her own childhood because she thought an author should write what he knows.

Harper Lee was a strong early reader and similarly so was Scout. “As a child, Harper Lee was an avid reader, similar to Scout's own ability to read before starting school. ” (To Kill a Mockingbird). Another thing that both Scout and Harper Lee had in common was they were both tom boy rule breakers. “As a child, Harper Lee was an unruly tomboy. She fought on the playground. She talked back to teachers. She was bored with school and resisted any sort of conformity” (The Big Read). Just the same Scout fought with Cecil and Francis.

Both Harper Lee and Scout live in a town’s that are very representative of each other. The town of Maycomb is very much so based upon Lee’s home town of Monroeville. “The town of Maycomb is modeled after Lee's own home town. The schoolyard in the novel is the same one Lee played in as a child. And the Maycomb courtroom is the Monroeville courtroom down to the last detail. She patterned her characters' speech after the Southern dialect she grew up with. She also looked to the citizens of Monroeville when setting up her cast of characters. (Reading about race and membership in America). The childhood best friends Dill and Truman were the neighbors of Scout and Harper Lee. Harper Lee’s good friend and neighbor growing up was a boy named Truman Capote whom Lee based Dill, the best friend and neighbor of Scout. “Dill, for example, is patterned after one of her childhood friends, Truman Capote” (Reading about race and membership in America). Another character Lee based off of her childhood was her father, creating Atticus Finch.

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The character Atticus Finch is a representation of Harper Lee’s father Amasa Coleman Lee. Both men were lawyers who represented black men, and lost their cases unfairly due to race. Harper Lee’s father represented two men accused of murder, he lost the case and both clients were killed. “He once defended two black men accused of murdering a white storekeeper. Both clients, a father and son, were hanged. ” (The Big Read). Harper Lee based her novel around her life, there are many similarities found within her book that are directly related to her life.

Upon the thoughts that an author should base his writings upon what he know, Harper Lee based her novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” loosely around her childhood. Harper Lee created the character Scout with many features to resemble herself as a child. The town of Maycomb was created by Harper Lee as an almost exact replica of her hometown, Monroeville Alabama. Atticus Finch was created to resemble Harper Lee’s father Amasa Coleman Lee and the two have many similarities. Harper Lee only created this one book “To Kill a Mockingbird” she never expected to get this much attention for her works.

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Harper Lee’s Influence on Scout. (2017, May 21). Retrieved from

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