Segregation in "To Kill a Mockingbird" and the American South During the Great Depression

Topics: Great Depression, White people, Race and Ethnicity Pages: 2 (563 words) Published: June 6, 2013
Life In The American South During The Great Depression
In the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, one of the main central focuses is showing life in the American South during the Great Depression. There are many issues of race, such as the controversy over Atticus defending Tom Robinson in his trial, and when Calpurnia, the black housekeeper, takes the Finch children to church. There are also issues in acceptable family values and structures and is best depicted when Aunt Alexandra comes to live with the Finches to teach Scout how to be ladylike.

America during this time period was very segregated, especially in the South. In this book, Tom Robinson, a black man, is accused of raping Bob Ewell’s daughter. The reader later finds out that Tom was unjustly accused due to racism, and was still sentenced to jail because of racism. Even though black people were not seen as equals at that time, Atticus still took the case. Because Atticus was defending a black man, he was ridiculed a lot by other people in the town. People were even giving Scout and Jem a hard time about it at school. Throughout all the ridicule however, Atticus stayed by Tom to defend him because he knew it was the right thing to do.

Another way that segregation was seen throughout the book was with the Finch’s housekeeper, Calpurnia. One day, Calpurnia took Scout and Jem to her church service, which was all black. The children were able to see so many cultural differences between white people and black people. First of all, they did not feel like the people at the service were very welcoming except for one of Calpurnia’s friends. They just felt like outcasts throughout the whole service. Secondly, they noticed that the minister was very comfortable with calling people out on their sins. During the part of the service where the minister usually names off people to pray for, the minister did that, but added what he or she did wrong so that they would feel ashamed and not do it again. Even though going t...
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