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

How does Harper Lee present Maycomb in "To kill a Mockingbird"?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Question: How does Harper Lee present Maycomb in "To kill a Mockingbird"? "To kill a Mockingbird" was set in nineteen-thirty-two, the same time as The Great Depression which was an economic slump that started in nineteen-twenty-nine. After the Wall Street Crash thousands of people lost their jobs. It was very difficult for a large segment of the population to make a living. In September nineteen-thirty-one, fear and panic spread as over eight-hundred banks shut in America. Lots of people (one in three) were out of work. At the same time, America was also suffering from large droughts. Areas became known as "The American dust bowl" as it was hard to grow crops. This went on for eight years. The farmers were hit the hardest as in "To kill a Mockingbird" Mr Cunningham pays in "Hickory nuts" and not money to Atticus for work. Maycomb was a farming community who hated outsiders and anyone who is different. Also, the people of Maycomb are narrow minded and old fashioned. Like most of America at this time, Maycomb was extremely racist and sexist. The important people of the town (social hierarchy) were the white men, the white women, then black men and finally the black women. ...read more.

Middle

An example of Scout being picked on for being a girl is where she says, "Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls always imagined things, that's why other people hated them so." Another example of sexism is in the courtroom where women aren't allowed on the jury and are asked to leave the room when a case gets too graphic as the men think that women won't be able to stand the gory details. In Maycomb, the whole place is not only sexist but racist and the justice system is corrupt as they will only accept white men on the jury. People in Maycomb use the word "nigger" quite often. Our modern society believes the word "nigger" is derogatory but in those days it wasn't said in an offensive way, this was just ingrained racism which was passed through the generations and society saw nothing wrong with it. An example of this is when Tom Robinson says to Atticus, "If you wee a nigger like me, you'd be scared", and when Atticus' nephew Francis calls him a "nigger lover". Atticus is different as he tells Scout off for using it. Bob Ewell assumes that Atticus won't really defend a black man like Tom Robinson and Bob's sure that he'll "win the court case" because he's white and Tom's black. ...read more.

Conclusion

An example of this is the fact that Scout can read before she can go to school and also teaches his children morals. In the court case and courtroom. Atticus shows that he is very against prejudice. He is a mouthpiece for Harper Lee's news particularly in his summing up speech. No-one in Maycomb likes the Ewell family as Atticus says, "the Ewell's had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations. None of them had done an honest days work in his recollection." Another person who hates prejudice is the Author Harper Lee and she is also very strongly against racism and sexism. In "To kill a Mockingbird", she presents the black community of Maycomb in a very positive way using positive imagery to show how respectful they are. Tom Robinson is a very good example of this. Characters like the Ewells are juxtaposed to Tom Robinson to show how bad and awful they are by using negative imagery. Harper Lee wants the world to change for the good to a more peaceful world. Maycomb is presented negatively in terms of prejudice nut Harper Lee shows the reader that it has potential to change. Maycomb is not too different to where Harper Lee was born and raised in Monroeville Alabama, a small city of about seven-thousand people. "To kill a Mockingbird" is Harper Lees only book ever to be published. ?? ?? ?? ?? By Liam Widdows ...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. Marked by a teacher

    Discuss Harper Lee's portrayal of the black community in To Kill A Mockingbird

    5 star(s)

    It therefore seems unlikely that none of the black people would be following him, and therefore that they would all be so passive. This is something which Harper Lee has been criticised for. Throughout the novel, the black community earn our respect in many ways.

  2. Peer reviewed

    Examine the different kinds of prejudice and injustice which you have found in 'To ...

    4 star(s)

    When they are looking at someone they cannot distinguish that person as an individual, they only see them as part of a group. Tom Robinson is the black man, accused of raping a white woman, who Atticus is defending in court.

  1. What important lessons do the children learn in Part I of 'To Kill a ...

    The children learn that Boo has lived this way for many years so their attempts at getting him to come out of the house will not work, because he cannot change what he is used to. The children learn about looking after others in several ways.

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

    When Scout starts to act a bit more feminine, we see Aunty Alexandra and Scouts' friendship grow less awkward. This is shown in chapter 24, when Scout finally adheres to going to the meeting; she is wearing all pink. 'Aunt Alexandra looked across the room at me and smiled.'

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    he tells the teacher he has done his day for the year. The boy laughed rudely; "you ain't sendin, me home, missus. I was on the verge of leavin' - I done my time for this year." Chapter 3 (pg 30)

  2. To Kill a Mockingbird Lit Review

    The most obvious example of his values was when he stood on Tom Robinson's side during the latter's trial and took the black man's words over those of the white man. This act caused riots in the white society's values and morals; consequently, Atticus, as well as his children received many negative comments and opinions.

  1. To Kill A Mocking Bird : Harper Lee - A chapter analysis.

    Dolphus and the children return inside the courthouse to hear closing arguments. The author does not offer the prosecution's closing argument, focusing the rest of the chapter, instead on Atticus's remarks. Essentially, Atticus points out the following: there is no proof that a rape ever occurred since a doctor never

  2. How are Prejudice and Hypocrisy explored in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Notes ...

    However, for Helen Robinson, his family and the Black Community, its like a life sentence. * ?To Maycomb, Tom?s death was typical. Typical for a nigger to cut and run. Typical of a nigger?s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind as fast as he saw.? This is a very racist comment.

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