• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9

Is Maycomb a microcosm of America's society in the 1930's?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

IS Maycomb a microcosm of America's society in the 1930's? By Mariam Nouri In the novel, 'To kill a Mocking Bird', the Author describes the town in which the novel is set, to be a microcosm of America's society in the 1930's. By definition, microcosm means; 'a community or other unity that is an epitome of another unity.' Epitome means; 'brief or miniature form.' Therefore, if one said Maycomb (town that the novel is based in) was a microcosm of America in the 1930's, this would mean that Maycomb was a miniature form of America. This statement is true because, throughout the book the people of Maycomb show views and beliefs, which the majority of people in America believed in that period of time. For example: in the novel, the people of Maycomb are racist against black people because, of their skin colour. In the 1930's the majority of American people felt and behaved in this manner. Another way that Maycomb reflects America in the 1930's is the people of Maycomb have many conflicts within the same religion. For example; Miss Maudie, a very fair woman within the novel says to Scout (main character in novel) "My shell's not that hard, child. I'm just a Baptist... Foot washers believe that anything that's pleasure is a sin... told me my flowers were going to hell." This shows that even within the same religion people are disagreeing over beliefs. This corresponds to America in the 1930's; as this kind of conflict was commonly know in those days. Many of the Residents in Maycomb consider themselves to be Christians but they all seem to have separate rules. The so called 'Foot washing Baptists' seem to exclude Miss Maudie even though she is of their own religious book. Hypocrisy is seen in Maycomb among religious groups who are supposedly meant to be promoting a ' love for fellow man' The black people and the White people have separate churches even though they are of the same religion and beliefs. ...read more.

Middle

Throughout the Novel, Maycomb county people were racist. In Maycomb the racism isn't even repelled against by the Blacks because they too, don't know any better and ACTUALLY believe that this was their place and this is the way it had to be!! This is obviously much different from the circumstances of today. Even within the young, prejudice is shown. Jem shows this when he says: " There are four kinds of folks in the world. There's the ordinary kind like us and the neighbours, there's the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes." When Jem says this he refers to four types of people present in Maycomb: Finches and neighbours - White Middle Class Cunninghams - Badly hit farming community Ewells - Lowest Class of Whites (White trash) Blacks - Seen as bottom of social strata This shows that even Jem and Scout, the children of Atticus, one of the most un-prejudices people within Maycomb still think in this way. This is through no fault of their own it's because, of the era they are brought up in and the affect of other people's views. In the 1930's, the civil war had long been over but divisions were still strongly present between counties and states. Although, this caused many negative vibes between different sections of America e.g. North and south, if there was a crisis the neighbouring counties would forget their differences and unity would be shown. Harper Lee shows this in the novel. He shows this when Miss Maudie's house catches fire. As the fire engine comes all the way from a neighbouring county. The fire engine has to travel though the snow and there are big problems but they keep going. This shows a great deal of unity, as the two counties don't particularly get along. He also shows unity within the Maycomb residents themselves at the same point in the novel. ...read more.

Conclusion

lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption one associates with minds of their calibre... Thomas Jefferson once said that all men are created equal... But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal ... in this country our courts are the great levellers, and in our courts all men are created equal." This statement shows the passion Atticus has against racism. He knows they will not agree all men are equal outside the Court room so he tries to make them see beyond the colour of Tom Robinson but to see the innocence forgetting that he is what they consider to be 'second class citizen.' In the 1930's America was a mixture of complex societies. There were many immigrants from different countries, different etnic groups, different economic levels in society (e.g. class) etc. There was a lot of tension between these different groups in society. This is also shown throughout Maycomb, there seems to be a split between all different people in Maycomb and tension is present between groups. There are the Black People, the White people, poor people, rich people, and foot washing Baptists, Baptists, and Methodists. All these points show that Maycomb is in fact a Microcosm of America in the 1930's. All the beliefs and issues present in America are shown in different ways throughout the book. The Racial prejudice, The Justice / in-justice, the depression and the causes of the depression, the courage shown by individuals e.g. Martin Luther King in comparison to say Atticus in Maycomb, the way the people unite in times of crisis, the hypocrisy in religion and the algamation of different societies. Evidently, in conclusion I would say 'To Kill A Mockingbird' by Harper Lee Is in fact a reliable example of life in America during the 1930's. It is a small portrait of the lives of different groups present in America. By Mariam Nouri ...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

    What Does 'To Kill a Mockingbird' Reveal About the 1930s American Society?

    4 star(s)

    to use different phone booths to white people, other laws were things like black people weren't aloud to go to a white persons public place and if a black man was sitting on a bus and there wasn't any seats left he would have to get up to allow white parson to sit down.

  2. Boo Radley’s Journal August 28th 1936.

    It's been woven from bits and scraps of gossip and neighborhood legend. The basic plot is: Mrs. Radley marries me, loses her money, teeth, hair and forefinger. She spends all her time crying. The play climaxes when I stab Mr.

  1. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    Dill comes by for breakfast and tells them that Miss Rachel thinks that "if a man like Atticus Finch wants to butt his head against a stone wall it's his head." The children go outside and Miss Maudie saves them from Miss Stephanie's nosy gossip by inviting them over for cake.

  2. I am going to write about the two main problems in Maycomb society which ...

    With aunt Alexandra saying not so quickly and sternly gives me the impression that White people are not allowed to Black peoples houses, even those who have been by your side for years. With this determination of aunt Alexandra it seems as though Calpurnia and her home have a contagious disease and that's why she doesn't want scout going.

  1. Many characters in To Kill A Mockingbird are isolated from mainstream society. Discuss the ...

    Most of the people in Maycomb didn't actually work in offices but instead, their jobs mainly consisted of hard labour. In Scout's words, "Atticus did not drive a dump truck for the county, he was not the sheriff, he did not farm, work in a garage or do anything that could possibly arouse the admiration of anyone."

  2. What does 'To Kill a Mockingbird' teach us about small town America in the ...

    Being unemployed, they in turn had less money to spend, so many more factories closed down and many more workers lost their jobs...and so it went on in a downwards spiral. Farmers were hit badly by the depression because people no longer had money to spend on anything but the bare essentials.

  1. What do you learn from "To Kill a Mockingbird" about the treatment of black ...

    in an attempt to stop them registering to vote, and having a say in government. The focus for this issue in the book is the charge brought by Bob Ewell against a black man, Tom Robinson, for "raping "his daughter.

  2. Write about 'the simple hell people give other people' in the classic novel, set ...

    clever reference to the presence of the moon contributes to the suspense of the incident and emphasizes on Boo's vice character. The repetition of the phase 'People said' underline that the unreliable citizens in Maycomb, like Miss Stephanie, contribute to the children's interpretation on Boo.

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