Essay on The Significance of the Setting of To Kill a Mockingbird

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An Analysis of the Significance of the Setting of To Kill a
Mockingbird

Set in Maycomb County, Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is set in a town where racism is prevalent. Harper Lee’s novel raises key themes to instil into the reader many ethics to combat these racist attitudes and inculcate other moral values. These themes are enforced by the setting and it is through the setting that Harper Lee emphasises the principles laid down by the novel. The setting is also used metaphorically to describe the themes in To Kill a Mockingbird.
So it is necessary to analyse the significance of the setting and realise how events are portrayed through the setting which in turn emphasise key themes of the novel.

The street is
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Racism, a key theme in the novel is also condemned by Atticus Finch –
"…As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash”. It is the location of Mr. Deas’s outburst, the courthouse, where the theme of racism is again emphasised, through the setting. In terms of its geographical location, the courthouse is at the centre of the town and much of the town is engrossed in affairs at Tom Robinson’s trial.
So it is fair to assume that the courthouse depicts the town and the views expressed by the courthouse can be used as that of the town’s.
As the courthouse is the setting for the worst racism, where a charge is indicted onto an innocent man because of his race, and the courthouse is central to the town, it can be interpreted that racism is at the heart of the town and so the town can be viewed as endemically racist. Again, Harper Lee accentuates the theme of racism using the setting.

The courthouse is again used as a means of expressing the racism notion though this time a new setting is introduced. In To Kill a
Mockingbird, the prosecutors in the high-profile court case, the
Ewell’s, live on the outskirts of the towns’ white community, outside the courthouse, in a dump-like setting

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