To Kill A Mockingbird Historical Influences

1019 Words5 Pages

Historical influences on To Kill a Mockingbird

The Great Depression was a time of devastation and uncertainty (McCabe 12). The great depression was a time when the stock market crashed causing many people to lose their jobs and homes. This novel is based on the time around the Great Depression. There were many historical influences in the book To Kill a Mockingbird such as the Jim Crow laws, mob mentality and the Scottsboro trials.

In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee the first influence is on the Jim Crow laws. There were many laws that the black people were required to follow. The Jim Crow laws were a way of life back then for Black and White people. In the article Jim Crow laws they stated that “Many Christian ministers and …show more content…

Mob mentality is a behavior that happens to people in large groups that are supporting one thing (Smith). People in mobs think that it is okay to do things such as trash homes and buildings since everyone else around them is doing it too. In the articles the reader read, people decided they wanted to be in mobs because it can be exciting and powerful (Edmonds). They also decide to join the mob because if several others were doing something, it must be worthwhile or they would not be doing it (Smith). Sometimes when a riot is very long some people can forget why they are even there. They also think that if they did something wrong they would be less likely to get caught because there are more people doing it. This can also result in individuals feeling less guilt (Edmonds). When a riot gets to a high level, property such as homes and buildings are destroyed or vandalized. Mob mentality can be seen in the novel when at the courthouse when Atticus leaves everyone else stands. Some people don’t really know what is going on so they do what others around them are doing and stand as well. This shows mob mentality because these people are standing up for him because it's what they believe in (Lee 283). Not only was mob mentality a historical influence in the novel but also the Scottsboro …show more content…

The Scottsboro trials was an incident involving nine black boys and two white women. One day in the 1930’s an unspeakable event happened. Several groups consisting of both black and white people were riding the rails. On one of the train cars, the black and white people began fighting (Johnson). When two white women got involved they were thrown off the train with the rest of the people in the fight. After they were off the train they immediately yelled rape (Anderson). A group of black men were sent to jail soon after(Johnson). The day of their trial was April 6, 1932, just twelve days after the arrest. It was a very short and chaotic trial where eight of the nine men accused were sentenced to death. The other man was considered too young and was sentenced to life in prison (Johnson). The executions were later suspended and the trial was moved up to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court ordered a new trial because the representatives were not considered to be in their right mind (Johnson). Ruby Bates, one of the women involved, later stated that they were never raped. On April 9, 1933 the first of the defendants was again found guilty and his punishment was execution, which was later delayed. After that, yet another trial took place. The local judge overturned the jury and ordered a new trial (Johnson). During this time, the defendants were held in prison. Two years passed before any

Open Document