Social Expectations In To Kill A Mockingbird

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The novel To Kill A Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb, a small town in southern Alabama during the Great Depression. The social expectations are very different now than they were in the 1930s. Social expectations are certain behaviors deemed acceptable or normal by society. In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee argues that a setting can affect social expectations. One event that shows that a setting can affect social expectations is when Scout tells about the Radley house and how different it is from the rest of the town. Scout explains, “The shutters and doors of the Radley house were closed on Sundays, another thing alien to Maycomb’s ways: closed doors meant illness and cold weather only” (Lee 11). This is evidence of Lee’s argument because Sundays in Maycomb were days to dress formally, go to church, and visit neighbors, yet the Radleys rarely left the house at any time of the week, according to Scout. Another part in the story that supports the argument is when Scout …show more content…

Even now people are expected to act a certain way. They are expected to use common sense and good manners. However, these expectations differ between cultures and ethnicities. For example, social behaviors in a small town, like Maycomb, would differ from behaviors in a bigger city, like Baltimore. Interests could be different as well. In the smaller cities, people tend to take their time and maybe stop to talk to someone they know. In bigger cities things are more rushed, everyone is trying to get where they are going as fast as they can. Some might say this is a stereotype, but there is truth to it. Harper Lee argues, in her novel To Kill A Mockingbird, that a setting can change social expectations. Miss Caroline and the Radleys are good examples of this in Maycomb and good manners and common sense are good examples of this in today’s society. Knowing the social expectations of the area, can help a person fit in, if they choose

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