To Kill A Mockingbird And The Great Depression Analysis

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To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, takes place in Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression, when discrimination against African Americans was active, the stock market crashed, and asylums for the mentally ill were not sufficient. In To Kill a Mockingbird, the narrator named Scout Finch, her brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus, have multiple encounters with three characters dealing with common issues found in the 1930s. Tom Robinson is an African American man who was wrongly accused of rape solely because of the detestation towards African Americans during the 1930s (“Historical Context”). The Cunninghams are a family of farmers living in the South, and have been greatly impacted by the stock market crash that began the Great Depression …show more content…
During the Great Depression those who were mentally ill had no choice but to go to an asylum, because it was not until the 1950s that psychiatric hospitals replaced asylums entirely (Antonio). During that time, the psychiatric hospitals were small, and developed in general hospitals to treat patients with acute mental illnesses; therefore, most of the mentally ill resulted to asylums (Antonio). During the 1930s asylums were described as a warehouse for the mentally ill, and did not do their job in treating the mentally ill (Rathus 330). Also, asylums were disease aggravated because workers did not take care of the mentally ill when they were sick (Rathus). These could be a few reasons why Mr. Radley did not want Boo Radley to live in an asylum. Mr. Radley shows his repulsion for asylums when he states, “no Radley is going to any asylum,” when it was suggested that Boo Radley should spend a season in Tuscaloosa (Lee, 13). Unfortunately, the asylum that was meant to be helpful for Boo was filled with problems. In To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee mentions that there was a problem with asylums, which leads to Mr. Radley’s need to keep Boo Radley hidden in their

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