The Influence of Setting in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

Good Essays
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,

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. Atticu...

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...ybody else in the classroom. He does not have any lunch

because he cannot afford it because he cannot afford it, on the other hand, Scout is

able to have a proper meal each day. It is the same comparison with black and white

people. Black people have almost no money, but since they have coloured skin, they

are automatically in a lower class. This is how Bob Ewell(“white trash”) have an

advantage against Tom Robinson during the trial. The Great Depression causes

many more problems for Maycombs society, though they are already dealing with

injustice and racism.

To conclude, the plot is slowly developed as Harper Lee effectively uses setting in

her novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Lee uses place, and time to create an atmosphere

which demonstrates racism and, the victimization of innocence in her novel, To Kill

a Mockingbird.
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