Nelle Harper Lee was born on April 28, 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama. She is the youngest of four children, which is why she says she has a knack for writing. She devoted her life to writing and even gave up other jobs that she loved like working for the airline company and going to college. Her first attempt at writing “To Kill a Mocking Bird” was declined by every publisher, because she only wrote a series of short stories. Upon revising the book, she made it into one of the best selling novels around. She was even congratulated by those publishers that said she would never be able to write books well enough. That was all the motivation that she needed.
Harper Lee’s purpose for writing this book was to show her audience moral values, the difference of right versus wrong. She does this very effectively by making Scout, the main girl in the story, and Jem, her brother, seemingly innocent, because they have not seen evil this early in their lives. The evil comes later when Mr. Ewell attempts to kill both Jem and Scout. Once the two children see and experience this evil, it changes their lives forever. They begin to see how the world can be different from their views.
The morals for Scout and Jem to live by come from their father, Atticus Finch. He has experienced evils in his life, like the death of his wife, but he never lost faith in the good of people. He taught Scout and Jem right from wrong when they were young, because their mother was no longer around to teach them. Atticus understands that people have good and bad inside of them, but he feels that the good side can always overcome the bad side. This is true when he backed Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping Mr. Ewell’s daughter. Even though no one else helped Atticus out, he never gave up on Tom Robinson no matter how hard things got.
Another important theme that this book stresses is how prejudice and ignorance is viewed by the innocent. For Scout, the thought of Boo Radley, the seemingly ignorant person who lived down the road, was changed throughout the story drastically.