What Are The Causes Of The Great Depression In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Published in 1960, a model of conventional plot and character, the novel is the most widely read twentieth century American work of fiction devoted to the issue of race. To Kill a Mockingbird begins in the summer of 1932 and concludes in the fall of 1935. These are the years of the Great Depression, one of the most traumatic periods in American history. The causes of the catastrophe were complex, but most historians agree that an unstable economic situation was devastated by the stock market crash in New York City in October 1929. Many people lost their life savings or their homes; unemployment soared to 25 percent. The Depression only ended fully with the advent of World War II. In March of 1931 a group of nine black youths was “riding the rails”—illegally jumping onto a freight car— from Chattanooga to Memphis, Tennessee. During the Great Depression this was a fairly common mode…show more content…
The only professions open to African-Americans in any significant numbers were the ministry and teaching. In most southern cities and towns, African- Americans were only hired as hard laborers and garbage men; they were specifically barred from supervisory positions and jobs as firemen, policemen, and bus drivers. As one sees in To Kill a Mockingbird, the African-American characters are field hands, maids, and garbage collectors. Only two of them have ever been taught to read. Most of the struggle in the late 1940s and early 1950s was over the right to vote and the right to serve on juries, an issue that is prominent in both the Scottsboro case and To Kill a Mockingbird. Arguments for an end to segregation were rarely and cautiously advanced. In the 1950s, however, agitation to lessen job discrimination grew, and many African-American leaders began to realize that equality of opportunity would never be achieved as long as segregation
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