Saturday, August 3, 2019
Discuss how the historical, political and social setting of Harper Lees :: English Literature
Discuss how the historical, political and social setting of Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird contributes to the fears that are present in Maycomb County. "Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself." (Scout Finch, Chapter 1, 'To Kill a Mockingbird'). 'To Kill A Mockingbird' is set in a small town in Maycomb County, Alabama, in the 1930s, which was a dark period in time for America as it had been hit by the Depression. Up until 1929, America had been doing very well, becoming a much richer country. However in 1929 when stocks had soared to an all time high, in September they plummeted. This day in history is known as Black Thursday and is remembered as the Wall Street Crash of '29. The crash hit people's interests hard and Americans all over lost a lot of money. Banks had to spend all of the money they had on regaining the economy, and agricultural needs were ignored, and didn't seem as important as other things like industry. Landowners had let out land to farmers to grow crops in, and when the Wall Street Crash hit them, they wanted to regain their land, as it was all they had. Therefore, the crash hit farmers the most and the Deep South was hit very badly because so many people were farmers by trade. There were many black people in the South of America, especially Alabama, and there was great racial hatred between them and the white communities. The Civil War from 1861-1865 between the North of America who wanted the abolition of slavery, and the South who wanted to keep slavery resulted in victory by the North, and slavery was later abolished. The South had lost its pride, and this was the reason for the racial hatred. Black people were thought to be inferior to white people and in the 1960s when the novel was written, black communities were rioting and causing disturbances to get across the point that they were not inferior to white people. After Abolition Black people were terrorised by the Ku Klux Klan, who would burn them, rape the women, and torture the children and the reader is shown an example of this in Chapter 15 where a group of white people, go to the county jail to terrorise Tom Robinson. Maybe this hatred for the Negroes wasn't hatred after all, but brought about by fear. As slavery had been abolished, black people were entitled to the same rights as white people, however they were still ostracised by white people because of their colour.