To Kill a Mockingbird, a love story, by Harper Lee has a few very intriguing themes. However one of the most important aspects of the novel is the setting. Harper Lee, creates a realistic and original setting where the conflicts and issues of the plot are unique to its setting in Maycomb Alabama during the 1930's. The tightly knit cast of characters and the town’s involvement and disapproval towards Atticus Finch only happens in a town such as Maycomb. As poverty, discrimination, and maturity characterize the Maycombians.
From the beginning pages of the novel Scout, the narrator describes Maycomb. "Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it." (Lee 9) She goes on to explain how Maycomb is quite boring "There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy, and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County." (Lee 10) This gives the reader the impression that most people in Maycomb are poor, including Scouts family. However very promptly this image changes, as the reader discovers they have a "personal" cook. "We lived on the main residential street in town-- Atticus, Jem and I, plus Calpurnia our cook." (Lee 10). This indicates the Finch's are doing very well, technically they should be struggling as it is the Great Depression. Furthermore, today’s average family would not have its own personal cook. Another reference to the theme of poverty is when Scout describes the payment system of the Cunningham’s, Atticus did some legal work for Walter Cunningham’s father, Atticus had the Cunningham’s pay back their dues by delivering anything they could produce on their farm. “Why does he pay you like that?’ I asked. ‘Because that’s the only way he can pay me. He has no money.’” (Lee 25) Another indication of poverty is when Scout describes the Ewell family “Maycomb's Ewells lived behind the town garbage dump. . . .The cabin's plank walls were supplemented with sheets of corrugated iron,...
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