How Does to Kill a Mockingbird Present Issues of Courage, Cowardice and Prejudice Against the Backdrop of the American South in the 1930’s.

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To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel threaded with many powerful themes, morals and ethics. These controversial themes resonate with the setting of the American South in the 1930’s. The most prominent themes in the novel are cowardice, courage and prejudice. These themes recur consistently and are highlighted through context in the novel.

To Kill a Mockingbird is written from the perspective of a 8 year old American girl in the 1930’s. The novel unfolds a story about an innocent black man accused of rape in a white Southern American County. The young naive girl Scout, recognizes the injustice of the towns accusations and sees the biased prejudices. By writing in the perspective of the young girl Scout, it allows the reader to have no prejudiced opinion. Instead the book is read through the eyes of a child, innocent and unknowing to societies views. Scout’s perspective evokes emotion from the reader, questioning their moral and social ethics. By doing this the writer has successfully let you walk in someone else's shoes. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.” Atticus Finch to daughter Scout.

The novel is set in the small insular town of Maycomb Alabama in the American South. The year is approximately 1934, the middle of The Great Depression. It is apparent in the novel that the Depression has affected the town. This is highlighted through the poor and struggling family of the Ewells. Coinciding with the town’s lack of wealth is the defined segregation between classes. "There's four kinds of folks in the world. There's the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there's the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump, and the Negroes." Jem Finch

Accompanying this fictional stereotypical town are the small southern town morals and prejudices towards African Americans. It is believed in Maycomb that Negroes...
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