Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

1695 Words Jan 14th, 2016 7 Pages
In To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee presents as a ‘tired old town’ where the inhabitants have ‘nowhere to go’ it is set in the 1930s when prejudices and racism were at a peak. Lee uses Maycomb town to highlight prejudices, racism, poverty and social inequality.
In chapter 2 Lee presents the town of Maycomb to be poverty stricken, emphasised through the characterisation of Walter Cunningham. When it is discovered he has no lunch on the first day of school, Scout tries to explain the situation to Miss Caroline, an outsider, by stating: ‘He’s a Cunningham, Miss’. This quote presents that poverty issues within families have become such a normal occurrence in Maycomb that the children simply disregard it, and Lee uses the contrast of the townsfolk and Miss Caroline to show how deeply the poverty issues run the town. It can also be inferred that the issues are such a natural occurrence, Maycomb has lapsed into becoming a town where the occupants are narrow-minded and, therefore, are wary in helping each other in desperate situations. The example of Walter Cunningham and his poverty situation shows that Maycomb is populated with citizens deeply unaware of the problem of poverty, which, Lee displays to the reader through important characters throughout the novel.
Besides poverty, Lee also presents the town of Maycomb as racist using the symbol of the mockingbird. Atticus tells Jem that ‘it is a sin to kill a mockingbird’ as all they do is nothing but ‘make music’. This metaphor is…

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