Essay on How Harper Lee Was Influenced by The Times

1473 Words6 Pages
Throughout history, there has been an overarching theme that writers write about. Great authors write about what they know. They write about what they see. They write about what they hear. They write about personal experiences and incorporate details from their lives into their literature. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is a classical work that reflects the Civil Rights and Women’s Movement of the 1950’s-1960’s through her depiction of the relationship between blacks and whites and her portrayal of female characters.
The 1950’s and the 1960’s was a time of change and evolution. It brought on the Civil Rights Movement. This was a very influential time period were these new ideas were incorporated into everyday life and they
…show more content…
“Even among the poor whites, there were social divisions: at the bottom of the social rung, even below the poorest whites, were those who only two generations before would have been slaves. In To Kill a Mockingbird, this poor white bigotry was personified through Bob Ewell”(Mancini, Candice 9). Tom Robinson was known for being and honest man in the black community. He would go to church often and he was a family man. In contrast, Bob Ewell was the town drunk and was by no means a model citizen. Clearly the better man was Tom but due to his race, many people believed Bob and Mayella Ewell when they said that Tom had raped Mayella. In reality, Mayella kissed Tom, “she was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in [their] society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man … a strong young Negro man”(Lee, Harper 204). At the time Lee was growing up, whites and blacks were still segregated and it was inconceivable that the two races consort.
The town of Maycomb, Alabama is very much like any southern town at this time. The citizens are racist and are mistrustful of blacks. Even those who were only partially black were thought of as being lesser than whites. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout asked Jem: ‘Well how do you know we ain’t Negroes?’(Lee, Harper 162). Whites would not associate themselves with half bloods because they were black and blacks would not associate themselves with them because they were white. Here, Lee shows that even
Open Document