Jean Louise "Scout" Finch is an unconventional, observant girl, living with her brother and her widowed father, lawyer Atticus Finch, in a sleepy Southern, Depression-era town. Scout is jolted out of her idyllic childhood when her father, despite threats, agrees to defend a black man accused of rape. Both adults and children try, in their own ways, to deal with a dramatic situation. "To Kill a Mockingbird" is both a coming-of-age story and a tale about the consequences of racism and prejudice. Partly based on her own experiences, Harper Lee's powerful, Pulitzer-Prize winning book was an instant success and is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.
Participants are requested to read parts of the text at home as preparation for the discussion in class (please read chapters 1-3 for the first evening).