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What does the reader learn about the social setting in "To Kill A Mockingbird?"

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Introduction

Coursework What does the reader learn about the social setting in "To Kill A Mockingbird?" Nick Hayden 11SMc 30th October 2003 Harper Lee, the author of the compelling novel, 'To Kill A Mockingbird,' created the town of Maycomb and placed it in the southern sate of Alabama. The novel set in the 1930's some 70 years after the civil war had been fought and lost and slavery was abolished, the black residents of the town still receive racist abuse from the white people of Maycomb. The blacks who lived in the southern states received more racial discrimination than the blacks living in the northern states this is because the southern states were agricultural and used blacks as slaves whereas the northern states were industrial so there wasn't such a demand for slaves. America at this time was enduring a deep depression, courtesy of the Wall Street crash 1929, which affected everyone. Maycomb is a typical 1930's town. The town is very close knit which I think is a positive feature of the town as this gives a good community spirit. People from the town benefit from the town being close knit; 'The men of Maycomb, in all degrees of dress and undress, took furniture from Miss Maudie's house to a yard across the street.' When Miss Maudie's house set ablaze everyone from the town turned up to give their support. ...read more.

Middle

This is backed up by something that Aunt Alexandra says, 'there is no doubt in my mind that they're good folks. But they're not our kind of folks.' This shows prejudice towards the people in different classes. Scout who is younger and more na�ve, disagrees with this and says, 'Naw, Jem, I think there's just one kind of folks. Folks.' This shows Scouts innocence and childish characteristics. It is quite obvious that poverty is a problem in Maycomb. 'Nothing to buy and no money to buy it with,' this is how the introduction to the book describes the poverty. The Finches are not badly affected by poverty compared to some of the families that we learn about in the book. The Cunninghams can't afford to pay Atticus for the legal work he does for them in money, instead he pays in produce from his farm, 'not in money, but before theyears out I'll have been paid,' 'the Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them hardest.' The Cunninghams are respected members of the community because they try to lead a normal life and do not use their poverty as an excuse for bad behaviour. The Ewell family are in a similar situation to the Cunninghams. Unlike the Cunninghams the Ewells do not abide by the law. 'Atticus said the Ewells had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations.' ...read more.

Conclusion

He is always seen with a bottle in a brown paper bag, which everyone expects to be alcohol, but turns out to be nothing but cola. He tells Scout and Dill at the court case this, and then tells them that he does it not for his own benefit but to give everyone else a reason, 'if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond's in the clutches of whisky - that's why he won't change his ways.' This shows that people won't accept him if he says that he loves a black women. There are several examples of segregation in the novel. Only white children attend Jem and Scout's school, there is a separate one for black children. Jem and Scout go with Calpurnia to her church, which is for black people and receive some disapproving comments from several members of the congregation. In the courtroom, white people sit on the lower level and black people sit above in the upper level. Racism is described in the book as 'Maycomb's usual disease' Perhaps it is described as a disease because it spreads and people can't help catching it. I think that Haper Lee's attitude towards the fictional town of Maycomb which is partly autobiographical is fond. Haper Lee expresses some of her own memories into the book through the children. Lee's childhood would have been much like Scout and Jems. Lee herself lived in Alabama so would have seen the same attitudes towards certain people as Scout encounters in the novel. ...read more.

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