Essay on Harper Lee 's Kill A Mocking Bird

1165 Words Aug 21st, 2016 5 Pages
Of The Time:
Harper Lee’s 1960 novel “To Kill a Mocking Bird” gives readers a unique insight into the concepts of gender and race in southern America in the 1930s from the perspective of an innocent child, whose values and attitudes have already begun to be shaped by the society in which she lives. Lee provides sophisticated commentary on the treatment of African-American people during this time, as well as portraying the patriarchal gender roles and expectations of the period and the effect they have on society. The novel is written from the perspective of a young girl, Scout, who matures from six to eight years old over the novels duration. Her understanding of race and gender is significantly altered in this time period both by her close family and friends as well as by the expectations and values of the society in which she lives.

The 1930s, in which the book is set, is a period in American history characterised by racial discrimination and tension, especially in the southern states, of which Alabama is one. African-American people were often treated with hostility and violence and were stereotyped as being untrustworthy, irrational and of lesser value than white people. It was common for segregation between races to occur and African Americans were often treated in a derogatory manner. The penetration of these views into society is shown by the author, in that even the youngest people have been influenced by society so thoroughly that, even though not maliciously,…

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