Explain two ways Nelle Harper Lee's life mirrors the characters and/or events from To Kill A Mockingbird


On a basic level, Scout represents Harper Lee, and Lee even admits to writing To Kill a Mockingbird as a semi-autobiographical novel.  From a young age, Harper Lee went by her middle and last name, choosing not to be called by her first name, Nelle.  (She was named after her grandmother, Ellen -- "Nelle" spelled it backwards, of course.)  In addition to opting to go by the less feminine name, she also dressed as her character Scout did, in overalls and other "masculine" clothes, described as "a rough 'n tough tomboy" (eNotes). 

Also, Lee's childhood friend Truman Capote was her inspiration for the character Dill.  In her novel, Lee created a smaller-than-average young boy (Capote was also known for being diminutive) who lived next door during the summers (Capote's family almost always sent him to live with his cousins in the summer, which happened to be right next door to Lee's house). 

Also, as critic Rebecca Best claims,

[...] Scout realizes that the option of changing one's status in society [...] is not available to poor whites like Mayella Ewell and blacks like Robinson (550). 

Harper Lee also realized, very early in her life, that certain people were not afforded the same status as others.  She was a child during the famous Scottsboro Trials, during which nine young African-American men went through a series of arduous trials concerning the rape of a white woman -- a rape none of them committed.  She also lived in a community much like the fictitious town of Maycomb, surrounded by those of varying social classes who had to struggle to climb the social ladder.

Beyond these parallels, most other similarities between Scout Finch and Harper Lee are purely speculative.


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