Essay on Harper Lee Writing Style

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American author Nelle” Harper Lee is best known for his writing. To Kill a Mockingbird is the first novel by Harper Lee. He was born on April 28, 1926, the youngest of four children of Amasa Coleman Lee and Frances Cunningham Finch Lee. She grew up in Monroeville, a small town in southwest Alabama. Her father was a lawyer who also served in the state legislature from 1926–1938. She grew up in the 1930s in a rural southern Alabama town. Named, sort of, after one of her grandmothers (“Nelle” is “Ellen” backward), she was the family’s youngest child and finally would survive brother Edwin (who died in 1951), sister Louise (who died in 2009), and sister Alice, who became a lawyer, took over their father’s practice and died in 2014.

Her father, Amasa Lee, is an attorney who served in the state legislature in Alabama. Her older brother and young neighbor (Truman Capote) are playmates. Harper Lee is an avid reader as a child. She is 6 years old when the Scottsboro trials are widely covered in national, state, and local newspapers. As a child, Lee was a tomboy and a precocious reader. After she attended public school in Monroeville, a private school for women in Montgomery. In high school, Lee developed an interest in English literature. After graduating in 1944, she attended the all-female Huntingdon College in Montgomery. Lee stood apart from the other students—she couldn't have cared less about fashion, makeup or dating. Instead, she focused on her studies and writing. Lee was a member of the literary honor society and the glee club. Nelle would never marry, but she always had a passel of friends and admirers.

Transferring to the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Lee was known for being a loner and an individualist. She did make a greater attempt at a social life there, joining a sorority for a while. Pursuing her interest in writing, Lee contributed to the school's newspaper and its humor magazine, the Rammer Jammer, eventually becoming the publication's editor. In her junior year, Lee was accepted into the university's law school, which allowed students to work on law degrees while still undergraduates. The demands of her law studies forced her to leave her post as Rammer-Jammer's editor.

After her first year in the program, Lee began expressing to her family that writing—not the law—was her true calling. She went to the University of Oxford in England that summer as an exchange student. Returning to her law studies that fall, Lee dropped out after the first semester. She soon moved north to follow her dream to become a writer.

She moved to New York in 1949 and worked as a reservations clerk for Eastern Air Lines and British Overseas Airways. While in New York, she wrote several essays and short stories, but none were published. Her agent encouraged her to develop one short story into a novel. To complete it, Lee quit working and was supported by friends who believed in her work. In 1949, a 23-year-old Lee arrived in New York City. She struggled for several years, working as a ticket agent for Eastern Airlines and the British Overseas Air Corp (BOAC).

Harper Lee’s life was filled with a series of challenges. She spent a turbulent childhood due to the psychological ailments of her mother. Her interest in literature led him to choose writing as a profession to fulfill this desire. She faced many obstacles, including financial instability. To continue her struggle and earn a living, she started a job. Later her friend helped her with a handsome amount suffice for her task. Therefore, she left her job and focused entirely on writing.

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Harper Lee wrote only two novels during her life, are, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Go Set a Watchman. Other works are besides novels, she tried her hands at literary articles. Some of them include Love—In Other Words When Children Discover America, Christmas to Me, and Romance and High Adventure.

Her untiring efforts and passion came out in the form of a novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. It hit the shelves in 1960. She published her 2nd novel Go Set a Watchman in 2015. One of Lee’s closest childhood friends was another writer-to-be, Truman Capote (then known as Truman Persons). Tougher than many of the boys, Lee often stepped up to serve as Truman's childhood protector. The Browns also helped her find an agent, Maurice Crain. He, in turn, was able to get publisher J.B. Lippincott Company interested in her work. Working with editor Tay Hohoff, Lee worked on a manuscript set in a small Alabama town, which eventually became her novel To Kill a Mockingbird.

To Kill a Mockingbird became an instant popular success. A year after the novel was published, 500,000 copies had been sold and it had been translated into 10 languages. Critical reviews of the novel were mixed. It was only after the success of the film adaptation in 1962 that many critics reconsidered To Kill a Mockingbird. It was honored with many awards including the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961 and was made into a film in 1962 starring Gregory Peck. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It was honored with three awards: Gregory Peck won the Best Actor Award, Horton Foote won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar and a design team was awarded an Oscar for Best Art Direction Lee worked as a consultant on the screenplay adaptation of the novel. In June 1966, Lee was one of two persons named by President Lyndon B. Johnson to the National Council on the Arts.

In 2007, President George w. Bush presented her with the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her praiseworthy contribution to American literature. She wrote only two books in her entire career and yet left a great impression in the literary world. After establishing her career as a writer, her realistic ideas added variety to the world of literature. Harper Lee used figurative language in her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, which won global recognition. With the help of her straightforward and realistic writing style, she cleverly created tension in her works. To highlight the misunderstanding of certain situations, she skillfully used humorous language in her pieces. Moreover, the successful use of narrative elements and characterization enables the readers to see the issues and events using the character’s lenses. Her writings reflect worldwide issues such as; prejudice, social and class differences, and racism in certain institutions. The recurring themes in most of her work are loss, love, politics, religion and society, and racial discrimination.

Though Harper Lee wrote two books in her lifetime, her literary ideas made the greatest contribution to American as well as international literature. Her distinctive writing style made her stand among the best American writers. Moreover, her ideas about culture and society left a profound impact on her readers’ lives. Her thoughtful ideas influenced many great poets and writers. Lee died on February 19, 2016, at the age of 89. Her nephew, Hank Connor, said the author died in her sleep. In 2007, Lee suffered a stroke and struggled with various ongoing health issues, including hearing loss, limited vision, and problems with her short-term memory. After the stroke, Lee moved into an assisted living facility in Monroeville.

To Kill a Mockingbird explored the main theme of Racism and Harper Lee is against racism in To Kill a Mockingbird. This research project displays Lee’s vision of Prejudice and Racism in To Kill a Mockingbird. The research aim is to examine the concept of Prejudice and Racism from Harper Lee’s point of view of scout as the main character in this novel. The majority of white people in Maycomb are racist. Maycomb is separated into white and black neighborhoods. The word nigger is used a lot in the text, and scout and her father are called nigger lovers. Harper Lee explains the phenomenon of racial prejudice that happened in Southern America, Alabama during the Depression time. She uses Maycomb County as the setting of her novel, which was described as having strict rules in society. People in that place cannot accept different things outside theirs, and racial prejudice grows up perfectly in society, whether against someone in their group or Blacks.

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Essay on Harper Lee Writing Style. (2023, April 21). Edubirdie. Retrieved May 26, 2024, from
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