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Compare the ways Harper Lee and RL Stevenson present towns of Maycomb and London in their novels.

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Compare the ways Harper Lee and RL Stevenson present towns of Maycomb and London in their novels Harper Lee and Robert Louis Stevenson use two very different towns to provide the setting for their novels. Harper Lee sets "To Kill A Mocking Bird" in Maycomb in the Southern states of America in the 1930s. Robert Louis Stevenson sets "Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde" in Victorian London. Although these are two very different social settings at two different times in history, there are both similarities and some contrasts in the way the authors use a sense of place to develop the main themes of their stories and to provide an appropriate world for the characters they create. In this essay I will explore some of the ways in which they do this. Maycomb is described in the book as " a tired old town". There is a main square and a county court house. The main family in the book the Finches live on the main residential street. They sit out on their front porches in summer and Lee gives us a feeling of a closely-knit community where everybody knows everything about one another, or so they think.. She goes on to show later that all is not as idyllic as it seems at first on the surface. ...read more.


The weather in "To Kill a Mocking Bird" is used to reflect the mood the town is in, and where the town is positioned it is usually very hot a lot of the time. Often, when the weather is described as hot in the book there is usually some kind of confrontation going on or some sort of tension thus symbolising conflict. Lee also uses the changing seasons to emphasis some of the points she wishes to make. When the weather is described as autumn it gives the impression of a dull grey period. When it's winter in the book it says it snows and that it doesn't snow ever. This brings in a kind of mystical cold sensation, which is linked in with Boo Radley. When winter turns to spring it emphasis new life and a warm comfortable feeling. All these different seasons are used to represent the act of time passing and each season represents different events which occur in the novel. The weather in London is somewhat of a strange atmosphere. It is described as a lot of the time as being foggy and murky, givingus the impression of a cold and dark situation occurring, London is basically being described as depressing and dangerous which causes tension and disturbance. ...read more.


Lee uses examples like this to show that, basically, lots of the people in Maycomb were two-faced and could not see the wrong in undermining the Negroes, which shows their total hypocrisy. The true harsh reality in Maycomb was that nearly everyone was racist with a few exceptions and that the people didn't like anything to be different from what was considered "normal" life. In this essay I have explored briefly some of the main themes running through "Jekyll and Hyde" and "To kill a Mocking Bird." In both novels everything is not what it appears to be on the surface. The people who live in the worlds of these novels are not always what they seem. There is deep social division and tension in the two communities that leads to conflict and a clash between good and evil. Stevenson and Lee use the geography of London and Maycomb, their climates and their social settings to put over their themes. They use these places to give their novels atmosphere and to create an appropriate setting for there characters. They use their towns effectively to reinforce their main messages. Stevenson uses London to expose some of the hypocrisies of Victorian life where respectable people often exploited the poor. Lee uses Maycomb to challenge racial prejudice and intolerance of people who are different at a time when the civil rights movement in America was beginning to gather momentum. Sam McManus 11S ...read more.

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