Explore the Ways Harper Lee Presents Conflict in to Kill a Mockingbird

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Explore the ways Harper Lee presents conflict in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ Conflict can be a disagreement or an argument between individuals or communities, for example different ideas or interests can result in conflict. Conflict can be used to describe physical combat or verbal opposition between people. To Kill A Mockingbird is set in 1930s South America; this was the time of the Great Depression after the American Stock Market collapsed in 1929. Times were hard and there is a lot of poverty in the novel, even the Finches are not wealthy. Harper Lee presents conflict in the novel through many different aspects; one of these ways is how prejudiced the white communities are towards the black communities. A factor contributing to people’s racist attitude was that land owners blamed the end of slavery for loss of profits and status. Other aspects of conflict in the novel are how society can affect individuals and influence people’s actions and opinions. It also mentions how gender was related to the way you were treated and people’s expectations of you. It highlights how conflict can occur within families too.

Prejudice is part of everyday life for most of the characters in Maycomb, and this was the case for most of the American South in the 1930s. When characters use racist language like ‘darky’ or ‘nigger’ they don’t think it is offensive, they think black people are inferior and don’t need to be treated with respect. There is an example of this as white men use the black community’s church during the week to gamble. Atticus calls racism ‘Maycomb’s usual disease’ and says he doesn’t want Jem and Scout to ‘catch it’. This shows how common racism is, and how hard it will be to change what so many people have believed all their lives. When Atticus takes on Tom Robinson’s case, the jury pronounce Tom as guilty even though evidence clearly points to him being innocent. Atticus knows before the trial that the jury will be pressured to name Tom guilty because of his...
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