Illustration of a bird perched on a scale of justice

To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

Start Free Trial

Which of Harper Lee family members' names did she use in her novel?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Harper Lee's family line, particularly her mother's line was filled with character names. Her mother's name was Frances Cunningham Finch. So her mother's maiden name was Finch, and it appears her mother's mother's maiden name was Cunningham. The first name Frances was also used but for the name of a boy and it was spelled Francis in the book.

It would be interesting to ask her about her choices because everything seemed to have such rich meaning in her book. So, in short, the answer is her mother. But spending any time thinking about the ironies of that might lead you to draw some really strong connections and conclusions. 

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team