Essay about The Setting of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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How influential is the setting of To Kill a Mockingbird to the novel's plot characters and themes?

'To Kill a Mockingbird' is set in Maycomb, Alabama in the Southern states of America in the 1930s. The community of Maycomb is close knit, everybody knows everything about everybody else and most people have the same beliefs and values. A common belief in Maycomb is that the black community are not equal to the white. Racism was common in the Southern states at this time. It came about because Negroes who had been working as slaves carried on living in America after slavery was abolished. White people still regarded the black people as servants and resented their freedom. The Wall Street crash of 1929 sent the country in to an
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The minds of the jury are made up before they even enter the courtroom. The trial is a waste of time because everybody knows the verdict before it is announced. The racism of Maycomb's white community blocks their judgement. The way Atticus's friends and family react to him defending Tom Robinson reveals the racist members of the community. 'He's ruinin' the family.' This quotation from Alexandra,
Atticus's sister shows that she is ashamed to have black people linked with her family. 'I guess it ain't your fault your Uncle Atticus is a nigger lover.' Alexandra does not hide her feelings about Atticus from her son. She is passing on her racism to Francis. The way she explains the situation to her son suggests that she believes Atticus has changed from being 'Uncle Atticus' to being a 'nigger lover'. Later on in the book Aunt Alexandra comes to live with the Finches in Maycomb because she thinks they need a feminine influence. Alexandra suggests to Atticus that he doesn't need Calpurnia, his black cook and should get rid of her. Alexandria isn't racist in her explanation of why she thinks Calpurnia should leave but I think she senses that Jem and
Scout are attached to her and she doesn't want them to grow up accepting black people as equal. Looking at the relationship between
Atticus and Alexandra it is not clear whether or not they were brought up by racist parents. Another racist character of Maycomb is

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