At the beginning of the novel, Scout represents Maycomb as a 'fatigued old town' with lazy habitants. This gives us the impression that little or nothing much happens in Maycomb which the area is flat. She explains it as being a small laidback town where everyone knows each other's business. Scout also describes to us how there are few things you can do in Maycomb: "there was no be quick, for there was nowhere to go, little or nothing to buy no money to buy it with, nothing to see beyond your boundaries of Maycomb County. " This models the scene and justifies from a child's perspective how there is nothing to do and that Maycomb is a rather uninteresting town.
The book, 'To Kill a Mockingbird' is set in the southern town of Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s. Truth be told there were many background problems in the USA brought on by the economic downturn. With the elevation of the Depression in 1933, nearly 25% of the country's total inhabitants, approximately 12, 830, 000 were unemployed. As poverty increased, people looked for someone to blame. They advised themselves that things would be better minus the ethnic minorities, which it was their fault. At this time in history, prejudice and racial discrimination was at its greatest causing segregation between the blacks and the whites; they lived separately and possessed different benches, churches and bus priorities. In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as the country's leader. He tried to clean up the current economic climate and improve it but, despite all his initiatives and the courage of the American people, the Depression hung on until 1941. The novel was written in 1959 and printed in 1960. It is likely that many of its content were based on the consequences of the great depression, thus like the Scottsboro tests which formed the foundation of Tom Robinson's trial in the novel. The book also draws affects from the effect of the Civil Rights Movement, which was determined to determine racial equality.
Although at first Maycomb may appear to acquire negative aspects, there are actually, several positive aspects to be explored. Maycomb regards itself as a very religious town. Everything is stored in simplest form to prevent distraction from God. Jem says Dill that they: "Don't have any picture shows here, except Jesus ones in the courthouse sometimes. " This shows how Maycomb does not want its inhabitants to be distracted and less faithful to the chapel. Throughout the novel there are many references to God, "I couldn't go to cathedral and worship God easily didn't help that man". This emphasises the relationship that the citizens of Maycomb have with the cathedral. We also learn that people spend a lot of their own time at church during the week: "Inside the long hours of cathedral" this reminds us of just what a strong, religious community Macomb is, as its inhabitants are faithful and genuine to the church. Church-going is referred to as Maycomb's "principle recreation".
Maycomb is a detailed, strong bound community and everyone helps when there's a problems. We see this during the fire at Miss Maudie's house: "the men of Maycomb, in all examples of dress and undress, needed furniture from Miss Maudie's house to a yard across the street. " This shows how Maycomb can be considered a supportive community and that a lot of people help you when someone is in trouble. We observe how many of the people take action in a heroic way as they risk their lives to save some of Neglect Maudie's belongings: "I saw Atticus carrying Miss Maudie's heavy oak rocking seat, and I thought it reasonable of him to save what she respected the most". Atticus seems to know very well what is important to Neglect Maudie and this shows just how many of the neighbours are good friends since it is an extremely small community. Even though they do not get along terribly well, Neglect Stephanie helps out by offering hospitality to Pass up Maudie since she has nowhere to visit. Towards the finish of this section, it appears that even Boo Radley may have helped through the fire. Having watched the open fire from before the Radley gate, Scout is appalled when she discovers that Boo may have helped by wrapping a blanket around her shoulders whilst she was freezing cold: "I appeared down and found myself clutching a brownish woollen blanket I had been using around my shoulders. . . my abdominal turned to drinking water and I almost threw up when Jem performed out the blanket and crept towards me. " This discloses how the rumours about Boo Radley may be untrue as he appears to help by exhibiting kindness through the flames. We also notice the way the community helps one another when Tim Johnson, the rabid dog, comes towards inhabitants houses later on. Calpurnia is very quick-to-think as she informs everyone on the street never to go outside the house. She even works back outdoors to warn the Radleys not to turn out. Also, even though neither of these want to capture the dog, both Atticus and Mr Tate get there quickly to deal with the situation, to keep the others of Maycomb safe.
Maycomb has many reputable citizens. Through the entire novel, we admire Atticus for his polite, modest and respectful behavior. He sees people for who they are and does not judge them regarding to rumours and myths: "you never really understand someone until you climb to their epidermis and walk around in it" this is his approach to understanding people which is an important concept in the novel. He's courteous to everyone, including those he will not get along with: "Good night, Mrs Dubose! You appear to be a picture this morning". This demonstrates how Atticus is a captivating gentleman as he uses his politeness to deal with uneasy situations. Atticus comprehends Mrs Dubose and her condition and despite her challenging manners he remains pleasurable and we think highly of his reputable manners, as he seeks to find the best in everyone.
Miss Maudie is a kind, gentle, respectable person. She feels that everyone deserves to be treated reasonably and equally and will not desire to gossip about people. She actually is very respectful towards everyone; when Scout asks her if Boo continues to be alive, she corrects him by stating: "His name's Arthur". This shows that Miss Maudie will not consider he should be cured any in different ways from anyone else, just due to rumours, and deserves to be resolved by his real name. When Aunt Alexandra occurs in Maycomb, many people are very kind and welcoming to her: "Miss Maudie Atkinson cooked a Lane cake so loaded with shinny it made me tight; Neglect Stephanie Crawford acquired long visits with Aunt Alexandra, consisting mainly of Pass up Stephanie shaking her head and stating, 'Uh, uh, uh, ' Miss Rachel nearby possessed aunty over for espresso in the afternoons, and Mr Nathan Radley went as far as to come up in the front yard and say he was happy to see her. " This shows that folks in Maycomb are incredibly polite and friendly towards 'the right types' of new individuals, giving nice first impressions. We also see this when we are advised that "Aunt Alexandra built in the world of Maycomb such as a hand into a glove. " It shows how everyone has helped to stay her in and make her feel just like part of their community.
In Maycomb, there are hardly ever situations where people are pressured to face their anxieties, as the city is usually very tranquil and nothing at all much happens. However there are some occasions in the book where we do see a few examples of courage. Section 6 shows an example of physical courage when Jem results to the Radley house to gather is trousers. Recently in the landscape, we notice how Jem is in fact the scared persona of the kids: "Jem leaped off the porch and galloped towards us. . . Jem's breath came up in sobs- 'fence by the institution yard! - rush, Scout!'", this emphasizes the frightening atmosphere as he is the main one who we'd expect to be the bravest. We admire Jem for his courage and bravery when he results to get his trousers and face his concerns. Chapter 10, Atticus is reluctant to shoot the dog as he hasn't taken a gun for 30 years since he is convinced that he has been given an unfair edge, "he understood that God acquired given him an unfair benefits over most living things". This shows that he's a civilised person and will not want to work with his talent to destroy innocent living things. As he has not used a gun in such a very long time, Atticus is slightly anxious as he is told "miss and you'll go straight into the Radley house". There is also the opportunity that if he's inaccurate, he might wound your dog rather than killing it. All of these factors increase anxiety: "Atticus pushed his glasses to his forehead; they slipped down, and he decreased them in the pub. Inside the silence I read them crack. " This increases the pressure and makes us feel sympathy for him. We respect him for the courage he must shoot your dog for the good thing about Maycomb, despite the stress and problems he encounters. Despite Maycomb's racial prejudice, Atticus agrees to signify Tom Robinson in the trial. He understands that it'll cause difficulty for his family: "when summer comes you need to keep your mind about way worse things. . . it isn't good for you and Jem, I know that" we notice that he's foreshadowing the trial which tells us that things will get bad. We can sense it'll be difficult as there will be added pressure created by the community's attitudes. This is where we see courage: "I've got to live with myself. The thing that doesn't abide by majority guideline is a person's conscience", Atticus is making a stand which shows that he is determined to get through the difficult situation yet to be. Another person in Maycomb, who displays courage, is Mrs Dubose. That's where we see that although her physical state was fragile, underneath she was strong and centered on what she wished to achieve: "her complete body and mind were focused on that noisy alarms". This shows how identified she was to free herself form the morphine cravings. Atticus admires her for her bravery "she said she meant to break herself than it before she died, and that is what she do" this is a very powerful example of 'real' courage in the book as it shows self-reliance and it brings to mind that with dedication, almost anything can be beat.
We observe how Maycomb values traditions as its inhabitants do not wish to develop or change their ways. Although at the time the North was becoming quite developed, many Southern state governments did not develop, and remained mostly farmers with their areas: "stripped of everything but their land, the tradition of living on the land remained unbroken". This shows how these were quite pleased with their standard, traditional ways of living. Maycomb is a simple town and there is little to do or even to buy as it does not want the new modern tools: "Haven't any picture-shows here", this shows how Maycomb is 'behind its time' as the areas such as Meridian, Mississippi, where Dill originates from, have moved on from this level and are more complex with technology. Maycomb Region is very pleased with itself and folks such as Mr Cunningham do not want to change their poor ways of living: "Mr Cunningham could get a W. P. A. job, but his land would go to mess up if he remaining it, and he was prepared to visit hungry to keep his land and vote as he pleased". This shows how Maycomb beliefs tradition because they are proud of it.
However, there's also many negative areas of Maycomb which we come across. Maycomb is a divided modern culture and suffers from category prejudice so everyone is treated differently. The Finches and Pass up Maudie are both respectable whites and present the impression that they live pleasant easy-going lives. Although, later in the novel we find out that this is false as we observe that Atticus is faced with many difficult problems causing corruption in the neighbourhood. We therefore admire him for his talent at hiding his true feelings and emotions by misleading others to believe he comes with an easy-going life. The majority of the community admiration the Finches and Miss Maudie for his or her kind nature and pleasurable personalities as they understand people and find out them for who they are. We see that there are characters locally who think themselves as respectable but do not react in the correct manner, that they should. Mrs Dubose is rude and strong-minded when we run into her in the book: "Not say hey to me, you ugly woman! You say good evening Mrs Dubose!". Though she actually is impolite she has manners and demands people to act just as. Aunt Alexandra is obsessed with the superiority of the Finch family. She bosses Calpurnia from when she arrives:-"put my bag in front of the bedroom, Calpurnia. " She does not seem to show any respect to associates of the 'lower class' as she thinks she is significantly superior and for that reason does not need to. She actually is also bossy to the kids and wants them to live up to their name: "she asked me to let you know that you need to try to behave like the little sweetheart and gentleman you are. " this shows how she is unsatisfied with how Jem and Scout behave and desires those to do as she says to change their ways.
We notice there are two types of folks suffering from the effects of poverty in the book. The Cunninghams are incredibly poor farmers who have been influenced by the depression. They don't have the money to buy things, they own hardly any possessions and almost all of the time these are hungry. We admire them for his or her integrity as they never borrow things that they cannot repay.
The Ewells are also poor though also, they are uneducated. The Ewells "[are] associates of an exclusive society made up of Ewells". They take regulations to their own hands because they are incontrollable so no person can stop them. In chapter 3, we learn more about the Ewell family and get started to understand what their house life is similar to. Since they are poor, they are also very filthy as they do not can pay for to clean themselves, nor care. We first encounter this when Scout details Burris Ewells appearance during university: "he was the filthiest human I had ever before seen. His throat was dark gray, the backs of his hands were rusty, and his finger-nails were dark deep in to the quick. He peered at Neglect Caroline from a fist-sized clean space on his face. " This tells us that he does not live a particularly healthy life at home which is likely that his daddy visits him. We also notice that he is very rude and cruel, credited a tough family life. We see this apply when Burris Ewell insults Miss Caroline: "Ain't no snot-nosed slut of a teacher ever given birth to c'n make me de nothin'! You ain't makin' me go nowhere, missus. " This emphasises the cruel, heartless heroes the Ewells all inherit as they seem to enjoy insulting people and making them upset. We find out that Mr Bob Ewell is a very irresponsible father and we see this when he "spends his relief cheques on inexperienced whisky his children have a means of crying from cravings for food pains. " This shows how he neglects his children- he is an alcoholic so he's often drunk and requires his violence from the kids by striking them, he doesn't make sure they are go to college and does not supply them properly so they starve. We see out of this how the Cunninghams are a far greater class of individuals than the uneducated Ewells.
However even the Ewells aren't regarded as low as the dark community, who are automatically seen as the bottom of the school system. They live beyond the town rubbish dump, which ultimately shows they are treated like rubbish, behind the Ewell home and are held away as far as possible. The dark-colored community are completely demonised and whatever goes wrong is often their fault, this is similar to how Boo is cured. When the children sneak into the collard patch everyone automatically assumes that it was one of the Negroes: "Mr Radley taken at a negro at his collard patch. " This shows how no subject the consequences, people will usually accuse a member of the dark community. In section 12, when Jem and Scout go directly to the first purchase church with Calpurnia, we have been told that "Negroes worshipped in it on Sundays and white men gambled in it on weekdays" this shows that the white community do not show any form of value and we see it as a disgrace, especially since it is a chapel. We also notice that it is challenging the stereotypes. The First Purchase church has an extremely humble nature: "he stood beside a table in front of the pulpit and wanted the morning offering. " We see that they have good intentions as they plan to increase enough money to help Tom Robinson's partner and family, so we admire their humility, devotion and ideas. We also notice that the church really respects Atticus, "This cathedral does not have any better friend than your daddy. " It implies that they really appreciate what he's doing for Tom, despite the challenges and problems it is resulting in.
Maycomb is an extremely prejudiced community and there are many racist citizens. Mrs Dubose says the kids that their "father's no better than the niggers and trash he works for!" this shows how firmly opinionated some of the people are. Scout's cousin Francis says that Atticus is "ruining the family" and we see how Aunt Alexandra does not like to talk about important issues "in front of Calpurnia and them" these examples all show how Maycomb does not have any respect for the black community and are unwilling to comprehend that they deserve to be treated the same. However, we also see another form of prejudice: "I desires to know why you bringin' white chillun to nigger cathedral. " This is a fresh form of prejudice where we see dark people being prejudiced to white people and also to each other: "stop there, nigger". It's possible that they are trying to devalue this is by it to call each other. However, we notice the way the black community work immediately on any form of prejudice and offer with the challenge as they feel it is unacceptable and unacceptable behaviour. This is a new response from the white people as they don't make an effort to control the prejudice and racial discrimination as they don't seem to care about it. This is an important section which the copy writer has included. It stresses how the dark and white community differ in the manner that they react to prejudiced behaviour. We learn that the dark community have a much more reputable and honourable way of working with uneasy situations as they are willing to resolve any arising problem. We observe Miss Caroline does not recognize that the Maycomb children are 'difficult' and learn how to do the majority of the items, that she's come to teach, already. She is oblivious to the actual fact that they 'come from a different world' to her and tend to be more experience than she considers. We notice how the children are dubious of outsiders and are prejudice and judgemental to start with, since she's arrived from a different part of the country.
Maycomb is a very intolerant community and expects people who are different to conform. These are harsh, nor recognize people for who they are, like Boo. A lot of the community spreads rumours and gossip about Boo Radley, portraying him as a 'Malevolent phantom'. They demonise him and blame him for morbid nocturnal occasions:
"Although the culprit was Crazy Addie, who eventually drowned himself in Barker's Eddy, people still looked at the Radley Place, unwilling to discard their preliminary suspicions. "
As he's different from everybody else, the inhabitants dread what might be and are very superstitious: "the Radley chickenyard high pecan trees shook their fruit into the schoolyard, however the nuts were kept untouched: Radley pecans would eliminate you. " They do not treat him exactly like everybody else as they feel since he's an outcast from the city, he means hazard. We see that Maycomb is very prejudiced, in section 5 when we learn about the 'Foot-washing Baptists'. The author cleverly uses 'ft. washers' in an effort to bring the intolerance of Maycomb in to the story. They think that whatever is a pleasure is a sin and that if people do not follow the 'appropriate' means of living, by being inside and reading the bible, they might as well just go to hell: "they thought I put in too much time in God's out-of-doors and not sufficient time inside reading the bible. . . and explained me and my blooms were going to hell". That is a good example of intolerance taken up to an extreme. It shows how the foot-washing Baptists do not admit other people's dissimilarities and it exaggerates the intolerant frame of mind that they have towards others. When Aunt Alexandra comes to stay, we see that she stereotypes people in Maycomb. She thinks that everyone got a streak: "Everyone in Maycomb it looked had a streak: a Drinking alcohol streak, a Gambling streak, a Mean streak, a Funny streak. " This shows how she is very judgemental of other folks and their families. She is completely different from Atticus- who recognizes people for who they are and will not judge people. She also offers very traditional views of how women should react and the correct clothing one should wear. We see several types of this and the first is when she tells Scout: "it might be best that you can have some female influence. It won't be a long time before you are thinking about clothes and children" this shows how Aunt Alexandra has high anticipations for what sort of lady should behave. We also observe how she actually is prejudice and will not see Calpurnia as an appropriate source of feminine influence. She will not approve of Scout's personality or behavior and explains her as "sluggish".
Throughout the novel, we find out about the attitudes of Maycomb from a child's perspective. Scout's naivety promotes us to look at the injustices from a fresh angle also to question the prices of the city. The innocent six season old, questions this is of issues, like rape, which advances our social knowing of the novel. To get started with, on the top of Maycomb, we view it as a friendly, harmless place where nothing much happens. Children play on the roadways and "women bathed before noon, after their three-o'clock naps" which creates an easy-going, innocent, trouble-free picture. However, the more we learn about it a lot more concerned we become about the serious problems with prejudice and racism that Maycomb keeps. The writer cleverly makes us realise that there is much more to Maycomb than what we thought at the beginning of the book.