The Influence Of Setting In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

800 words - 3 pages

To Kill a Mockingbird is a story about injustice, racism and the co-existence of good

and evil. These aspects are the result of plot development. In her novel, To Kill a

Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses setting to contribute to the development of the plot.

Lee develops Maycomb, Alabama to be an old and prejudiced town. In the exposition

of the novel, Jean Louise,(preferred to be called Scout) introduce Maycomb as a

town where “nothing exciting happens”, although, throughout the novel we see

many interesting situations which have directly impacted society and their views.

Scout presents this town by describing it as “There was no hurry, for there was no

where to go, nothing to buy, and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the

boundaries of Maycomb County”(Lee 6). By displaying that Maycomb poor town

helps develop the plot because it creates a serious atmosphere with many rules

which makes it difficult society to deal with a change that will affect them. Harper

Lee enforces this to be able to understand the character’s emotions by creating an

intense setting. Social Status is an important factor of where you stand in terms of

class. The Finches have the highest standard, since Atticus is professional lawyer, he

is automatically a highly respected man. Scout and Jem are part of this class because

they are his children. Black people have the lowest class because of their skin colour,
Bhatia 2
even though they have many valuable qualities. Black and white people live on

opposite sides of town due to class, and colour. There is much hostility between

black and white people, which creates a lot of tension between the two races in

multiple circumstances. Atticus Finch chose to defend an innocent black man, Tom

Robinson during a trial in which he was convicted of rape and physical abuse

against Mayella Ewell, a white woman. When word got out about his actions, a

young boy named Cecil who attends school with Scout yells, “My folks said your

daddy was a disgrace an’ the nigger oughta hang from the water-tank”(Lee 102) to

Scout. When she tells Atticus what Cecil says, he responded that he is simply

defending a black man, and if he did not, he would not be able to hold his head up in

town. Atticus defending Tom Robinson makes many people create assumptions

about him, as well as call him a “nigger-lover.” This...

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