• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

An Analysis of the Significance of the Setting of To Kill a Mockingbird

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Analysis of the Significance of the Setting of To Kill a Mockingbird Set in Maycomb County, Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is set in a town where racism is prevalent. Harper Lee's novel raises key themes to instil into the reader many ethics to combat these racist attitudes and inculcate other moral values. These themes are enforced by the setting and it is through the setting that Harper Lee emphasises the principles laid down by the novel. The setting is also used metaphorically to describe the themes in To Kill a Mockingbird. So it is necessary to analyse the significance of the setting and realise how events are portrayed through the setting which in turn emphasise key themes of the novel. The street is an important part of the setting, where key themes are emphasised. In the street, Scout and brother Jem alongside friend Dil are able to have fun through their childhood games whilst not compromising their safety and playing in a safe environment. Though the people within the street do not compromise safety, the street is not protected from outside attack. In fact, this flaw is exposed and safety is compromised when a dog, from outside the street, is found to have rabies. ...read more.

Middle

In fact, there is only one exception to the zones of Maycomb - Dolphus Raymond, described as a "nigger lover". It is through the setting of the racial groups that the author is able to portray just how widespread racism is in Maycomb County. Dolphus Raymond, the exception to Maycomb's racial grouping, is a key figure for another of Harper Lee's themes within the novel. Dolphus Raymond is seen as the misfit of society and an alcoholic. Though, as the novel progresses, and the discovery is made as to what Dolphus is actually drinking, it raises the issue discussed in the novel of deceptive appearances. Harper Lee revisits the theme of deceptive appearances when Miss Stephanie Crawford, though a neighbour is an outsider to the street, is responsible for concocting stories about Boo (Arthur) Radley. These gossips are found to be untrue and Boo (Arthur) Radley proves his appearance is not what it is made out to be by winning over Scout and Jem through presents in a tree, comforting Scout with a blanket during a neighbourhood crisis and saving the pair's lives. Another example of a deceptive appearance is of Mrs. ...read more.

Conclusion

The setting of To Kill a Mockingbird is a key aspect of the novel used to enforce the themes of the novel. When outside attack brings to light what people's attitudes towards others are, the theme of racism is highlighted. This them is enforced when the court is seen to be central to the town and court is found to be racist, the town is depicted as endemically racist. The extent of the prejudiced views upheld by much of the white community is exposed when the racial groupings show the black community to be forced to live in "trash". When outsiders mistake people with wrong impressions, deceptive appearances are found to be common in Maycomb. The idea of learning is enforced by a change in setting, through the attack and when viewing events from Boo Radley's point of view. When a reader pictures the attitudes of racists in the 1930s (when the novel is set) they are able to understand how racist people can be and how wrong discrimination can be. So Harper Lee uses a number of different settings to convey various key themes central to To Kill a Mockingbird. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. What impressions are there of life in Maycomb in "To Kill a Mockingbird"

    In Maycomb town gossip is rife. Miss Maudie points out that although Miss Stephanie maybe telling you something exciting and different but that does not make it true. For example when Miss Stephanie made a few rumours about the Radleys.

  2. Discuss the Theme of Outsiders in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

    'Let's try to make him come out,' said Dill. This phrase shows excitement, but also portraying the fear they have for an innocent man. The children are intrigued and feel a rush from confronting their terror, Another example is when Jem, Dill and Scout acted out the story of Boo Radley, until Atticus ceased this activity.

  1. How influential is the setting of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' to the novel's plot ...

    In the book Jem and Scout never seem to be playing with toys, they make up their own games. ' Nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.' For its residents Maycomb is the world and there is little to do in Maycomb itself.

  2. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    Harper Lee shows solutions of how to face prejudice through courage and tolerance. A person who had immeasurable amounts of tolerance was Atticus, and he taught/influenced his children to learn the skill of tolerating someone by correcting them and through his maxim to stand in other people's shoes, although he

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird - Arthur

    From her point of view, Boo was a nice boy who suffered at the hands of a tyrannically religious family. He is one of many victims populating a book whose title, To Kill a Mockingbird, suggests the destruction of an innocent being.

  2. Discuss the importance of Boo Radley in relation to the themes and plot of ...

    Towards the end of the novel Scout sees Boo as a kind, gentle and heroic person. When Boo saves her from the evil clutches of Bob Ewell, her description of Boo changes, "his face was white as his hands...his cheeks were thin to hollowness; his mouth was wide; there were

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    It is ironic that maybe he is like dirt so the dirt on his face represents his true character and with out it he becomes exposed to the elements so he has uncomfortably changed. Atticus explains to Jem about it being a sin to kill a mockingbird straight after giving

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

    Even though Atticus might be the strong and great hero we make him out to be, he did show minor flaws such as when he underestimated Bob Ewell's capabilities. He did not think that his acts would bring danger to his children, nor did he think that Bob Ewell would find revenge through children.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work