To Kill A Mockingbird Historical Reality

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American Literature has a way of describing major historic events in an impressing manner. To Kill A Mockingbird is a piece of literature exalted because of the way it depicts the historical reality of the 1930’s. During the 1930’s the US was in one of the worst economic states in history, had many different roles for each gender, and issues dealing with race. Harper Lee wraps all these realities up in To Kill A Mockingbird, but there is one more accurate than the others. The aspect of historical reality To Kill A Mockingbird reflects the most accurately is the Great Depression, specifically the new organizations created during the recession and everyone’s economic state.
To Kill A Mockingbird accurately represents one of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s
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Chapter 12 page 154-155 of To Kill A Mockingbird states “The Governor was eager to scrape a few barnacles off the ship of state; there were sit-down strikes in Birmingham; bread lines in the cities grew longer, people in the country grew poorer.” During the 1930s a large percentage of citizens living in the United States were poor. In order to acquire the food they needed yet couldn’t afford, many Americans usually waited in long bread lines (P36 of ‘Great Depression’ by Britannica School). The book’s inclusion of this quote represents how the Americans were getting poorer, which is an exact depiction of the Great Depression’s toll on everyone’s financial situation. It shows that due to the lack of money, it was hard times for the characters. On the other hand, some may argue that the economic state during the Depression is not accurately represented due to how seemingly fair the characters are living. Yet, many of the character complain about their financial situation, such as when Atticus tells Scout they are indeed poor or when on chapter 24 page 312 Mrs. Merriweather exclaims about her maid Sophy, “It’s never entered that wool of hers that the only reason I keep her is because this depression’s on and she needs her dollar and a quarter every week she can get it.” These moments in the book sublimely point out the effects of the recession, such as low wages. On average during the 1920’s, maids made around twenty-five cents per hour, adding to a total of seven to twelve dollars a week (‘Monthly Labor Review by United States’ v11 no5. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Pg 976). Now, after the era of luxury ended and the Great Depression began, wages dropped significantly. This is represented in the quote from the book, were instead of being paid the minimum of seven dollars that was prominent in the 1920’s, Sophy is paid a dollar and twenty
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