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

To Kill a Mockingbird

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Question: What aspects of Small town life does Harper Lee show which influence the behaviour of its inhabitants? The novel of 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is set in the heart of Maycomb County, Alabama in the late 1930's, at the end of the world economic depression. As is seen in the novel, many of white people in Maycomb have joined pressure groups to try and ensure white supremacy over the black community. Maycomb is described by Harper Lee as if it was a character; it is described as being old, worn out, unkept, slow-moving, insular, poor and conservative, but it is also described with hope 'vague optimism' . This influences the behaviour of the inhabitants as the people of the town take on these characteristics as is seen in the novel. Many of the citizens in Maycomb show these characteristics alter their behaviour in different ways. Some like Mrs. Dubose show it in their attitude and physical appearance, as she has lived in Maycomb all of her life and she is old, worn out and slow moving. Others show these characteristics with there mental attitude. ...read more.

Middle

The views of the county are split over this case and this is where Harper Lee shows us the minorities of the county and the exceptions to the isolationistic view. 'I hope and pray that I can get Jem and Scout through this without bitterness, and most of all, without catching Maycomb's unusual disease'. The disease that Atticus is talking about is the spreading of the idea that Negro's are inferior and shouldn't have the respect of white people. 'I hope Scout and Jem come to me for answers instead of listening to the town.' Atticus is an example of the few exceptions to the isolationist mentality that has engulfed the community. Harper Lee shows us that many of the people in Maycomb that support the blacks' cause are afraid to show the true reasons why they supported blacks. Dolphus Raymond is a prime example of this as he is married to a black woman and many of the people of Maycomb feel that he is evil. Scout and Dill both show this when they see Dolphus outside the court house. Dolphus Raymond puts on a 'front' every time that he goes into town to give people a reason why he behaves the way he does. ...read more.

Conclusion

The main aspect was the verdict and this therefore has the effect that Tom Robinson took his own life. This shows that there were many knock on effects. Thus, showing us that everything in the novel happened for a reason. Harper Lee shows that Maycomb hasn't changed for many years. Small town life has influenced the behaviour of its inhabitants through gossip and the fear of change. The fear of change has led people to become set in their ways and therefore, they will do anything to keep their society the same. Gossip has enabled myths, fears, untruths and prejudices to spread throughout the town. These stories shape people's attitudes towards each other and towards the decisions that they make on subjects such as discrimination. A prime example of this is the children. They become wiser as they grow up; thus showing that gossip has influenced their decisions. They learn that not everything is true and people may want to be different from the society and not castled out, which is what's suggested in the novel. 'I think that I'm beginning to understand why Boo Radley's stayed shut up in that house all this time.... It's because he wants to stay inside.' ...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. How effectively does Harper Lee convey her ideas about prejudice in her novel To ...

    This is evident prejudice from the church, whose overall doctrine is supposed to be 'love thy neighbour as yourself' (equality). This quote shows inequality, prejudice towards all women with no exceptions; strangely, this idea is shared in the "black" and "white" church - shows a certain sense of wholeness

  2. We are told that " Maycomb County.... had nothing to fear but fear itself" ...

    Here Atticus is not afraid for his own life but because his own children might be involved and hurt in something which didn't concern them. Aunt Alexandra is very prejudiced and believes she is superior. Although Aunt Alexandra has many of the same prejudices as the rest of Maycomb country

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

    be friends with Scout because of his background: "But they're not our kind of folks...there's a drinking streak in that family a milde wide. Finch women aren't interested in that sort of people...Because - he - is - trash." Her view shows us the complete and utter prejudice that there can be shown in society.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    rooms of Simon Finch's four daughters that once allowed Finch to keep track of their comings and goings. Scout hates going here, because her Aunt Alexandra always tells her that she should be more ladylike - she should wear dresses and not pants, she should play with girls' toys like tea sets and jewelry.

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

    I think I know the answer already. To me this trauma was an act of racism. If tom was white I think the guards would have been more respectable and human-like, and maybe have fired just a single shot because it doesn't take 17 shots to kill a human.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Imagery and Symbolism

    Atticus loves Scout enough to see that obtaining an education is extremely important. Evidently you can see that Atticus must love Scout because he reads to her from newspapers and magazines each and every single evening before bed. I believe he does this to teach her new vocabulary but also

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird (Chapter summaries).

    chewing gum, a medal that Atticus said was from a spelling competition, and a watch with a chain and a knife which didn't run. They then decided to write a letter to who ever it was who was leaving these things to thank them.

  2. According to Atticus Finch, one of the main characters in To Kill A Mockingbird, ...

    him as if he were some fragrant gardenia in full bloom on the witness stand , to see Mr. Gilmer half-sitting, half standing at his table. The jury was watching him, one man leaning over with his hands over the railing. 'What's so intrestin'?' he asked. 'You're left handed Mr.

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