This essay aims to investigate the literary context of Harper Lee 's To Kill A Mockingbird (1960) from four different perspectives. The scope of this essay does not only include the context from historical, cultural and social points of views, but also the significance of Lee 's early life is considered. The essay explores deeply the novel 's events, characters and main themes, which can all be related to the literary context. This is why the research question of this essay is “A Study of Literary Context in Harper Lee 's To Kill A Mockingbird”. To Kill A Mockingbird never fails to amaze a reader because of its audacity, as it brings out many controversial issues from 1930s America. The topics include for example the poverty caused by the …show more content…
The poorest white families in Maycomb County were the Cunninghams and the Ewells, who were living behind the town 's garage dump. “ ' '...The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them the hardest. ' '”18 For example, Walter Cunningham and Burris Ewells ' characters are both bullied at school, since they do not have the money for lunch or clean clothes. “...Walter Cunningham was sitting there lying his head off. He didn’t forget his lunch, he didn’t have any. He had none today nor would he have any tomorrow or the next day. He had probably never seen three quarters together at the same time in his life.”19 For the African-American people, things seem to be even worse as they are rejected in Maycomb like cancer. The heart of their community, the church, where Calpurnia takes the kids into, is in poor condition with no electricity or …show more content…
The clear main themes in the novel are both gender equality and racial segregation, which Lee presents through the storyline and the prejudiced characters. Tom Robinson 's lawsuit and its conclusion show that justice was primarily based on the white society 's perception of the law. The jury consists only of white men, who are all prejudiced towards the African-American people. “ ' 'The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury
Why does he pay you like that, Scout asked. Because that is the only way he can pay me. He has no money”( 27). Atticus states which families have it the hardest on them and the Cunninghams were one of those families. The Great Depression created a vast economical difference that led to people treating others
This again, shows us what the stereotype father does in Maycomb County. They went “hunting” or “played poker” while atticus “sat in the living-room and read”. This shows the theme of social prejudice because it shows how in Maycomb, all the fathers had to do those activities however, Atticus does not and is viewed negatively by
The book “To Kill A Mockingbird” was written by Harper lee. Throughout the book Lee uses a story to get a deeper meaning out to her audience and the world. During the where the story was set there were inequality issues and very prejudice opinions. Intertwined in the book she addresses the controversial topics like race and different forms of prejudice. There were several different forms of prejudice in this book.
The “hain’t” of the Radley house will never get a chance to change his position in society; because of the gossip Maycomb spreads about him, he will always be seen as bad and will never be able to break out of that role. The fact that even the youngest members of the town of Maycomb commonly know the Radleys as villains shows that Maycomb has a way of confining people to a single story and keeping them on one level of importance. But the social standings of the town are not only based on genetics-they also depend on skin color. Black people in Maycomb are seen as unimportant. In the courtroom, Mr. Gilmer proves this to be true by confronting Tom Robinson, saying, “‘Had your eye on her a long time, hadn’t you, boy?’
Especially poorer whites feared that, following Claudia Johnson argumentation, the “breakdown of the class and, especially racial boundaries” (“Threatening Boundaries” 4) would deteriorate their standard of living, which is the case in Maycomb’s society as especially the family of the victim is considered “white trash” (Lee 33). 3.1.1 Social Coexistence Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird is segregated in its diverse class stratification and reflects the social, economic and political atmosphere in the United States at that time. The wealth belongs to a small white upper class, the rest is divided into different classes and increments, but poor whites feel they are in competition with blacks for a decent living and the whites-only advantage was their skin color. Generally, there is the idea that segregation results in discrimination, but Deborah Kenn argues that “indeed, discrimination is one of the most powerful enforces for segregation” (2).
What is a very apparent concept in the story is the inequality and prejudice that exist in the small town. In Maycomb, the wealth of an individual is a way that consistently divided the social status of the townspeople. For example, The Finchers and other middle class people have more prestige and social status over the lower class townspeople, such as the Cunninghams and the Ewells. The most common and discriminatory inequality in the town is that the race of an individual would unjustly determine their social status. For example, the blacks, despite having more amiable qualities than the Ewells, still remain at the bottom of the social hierarchy for the only reason being their race.
Especially poorer whites feared that, following Claudia Johnson argumentation, the “breakdown of the class and, especially racial boundaries” (Threatening Boundaries 4) would deteriorate their standard of living, which is the case in Maycomb’s society as especially the family of the victim is considered “white trash” (Lee 33). 3.1.1 Social Coexistence in Maycomb Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird is segregate in its diverse class stratification and reflects the social, economic and political atmosphere in the United States at that time. The wealth belongs to a small white upper class, the rest is divided into different classes and increments, but poor whites feel they are in competition with blacks for a decent living and the whites-only advantage was their skin color. Generally, there is the idea that segregation results in discrimination, but Deborah Kenn argues that “indeed, discrimination is one of the most powerful enforces for segregation” (2). This discrimination starts with the low income of blacks, followed by housing prizes and segregated education.
From descriptions throughout the book, it is clear many families fail to provide for themselves, and have little to no food or resources. Some, like the Cunninghams, adapt new and innovative ways to pay off their debts and provide for themselves. But others, as Lee shows through the Ewell’s, resort to shoplifting and illegal forms of getting food on the table. The Great Depression also brought about a sense of hard work and perseverance to the people of Maycomb. “In Defense of a Loaded Word”: The main idea of this article is that there are many names that are inappropriate to use: an example would be calling your parents by their first name.
Mother Teresa, a cherished humanitarian who sacrificed her life for the poor once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples” (qtd. in World Quotes n. page.) To many the world is a dark and unforgiving place where hope and the possibility of social change has all but disappeared, however rays of light, like ripples, can provide wide reaching potential for equality as well as inspire others to stand up as well, forever changing the surface of the world. Rays of light can help brighten the darkness of the human condition and promote progress in a stagnant society. Rays of light bring joy and progress to the human condition.
Mrs. Dubose is a cranky old lady that yells at Scout and Jem when they walk past. Jem is told to be a gentleman but loses his cool when she calls their father trash. Jem 's punishment was to go read to her. While they were reading to her if she threw a fit or started yelling they couldn 't say anything. Then Atticus then tells him that she was an addict and reading was part of her therapy.
The novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, was written by american novelist, Harper Lee. This Pulitzer Prize-winning best seller was known as Harper Lee’s own literary success story making her book prosperous. The novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, portrays many different themes, symbols, and imagery throughout Lee’s writing. Constant themes throughout the entirety of the story is family, racism, and the Southern life in the 1930’s. One of many symbols that are represented in To Kill A Mockingbird are of course, Mockingbirds.
“To Kill a Mockingbird” written by Harper Lee is an award winning novel published in the 1960’s it explores the main theme of racial differences in the early 1930’s and the many struggles, acceptance challenges and problems that black people faced during this time period. Set in the country town of Maycomb County, Southern Alabama it follows the story of a family, a lawyer named Atticus Finch and his two children Scout and Jem. As the two children, Scout and Jem grow up their father teaches them life lessons which in that time and in their community were said to be different and unlike everyones else’s ideas which were therefore redeemed as un normal. Proceeding through the story it uncovers the harsh ways of growing up and being introduced
In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, prejudice is a problem clearly evident in Maycomb. The novel not only focuses on black and white but other forms of prejudice such as racial injustice and class. Making opinions about someone or something not based on reason or experience has been a problem since 1930s and still is today. Prejudice causes society to overlook innocence and make judgments. Because of Maycomb society's prejudice, two characters in the novel are judged guilty despite their innocence.
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is an exceptional book portraying prejudice in the 1930’s. This book shares about the life of a kid named Scout and her adventures in Maycomb County. Throughout the book we see prejudice in the eyes of a child and how it affects Scout’s life. In the book a black man is accused of raping a white woman and Scout’s dad, Atticus, is appointed to defend the black man. Scout soon learns the public perception on this trial.
Some characters in the book had a nice shelter and had a food supply, but others didn’t know when they would eat again. Also, many of the kids didn’t have a decent home and were not able to bathe often. Their parents didn’t have jobs except a few families. In Maycomb there was racial segregation, not as bad as other places, but blacks were not completely welcome in the south. Maycomb didn’t experience the Dust Bowl as bad as other places but not all the farms there were producing.