The Tired Old Town Of Maycomb Society English Literature Essay

At the start of the novel, Scout describes Maycomb as a ‘tired old town ‘ with lazy dwellers. This gives us the feeling that nil much happens in Maycomb and that the country is dull. She describes it as being a little laidback town where everyone knows each other ‘s concern. Scout besides describes to us how there are few things to make in Maycomb: “ there was no haste, for there was nowhere to travel, nil to purchase and no money to purchase it with, nil to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. ” This sets the scene and justifies from a kid ‘s point of position how there is nil to make and that Maycomb is a instead deadening town.

The novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird ‘ is set in the southern town of Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930s. At this clip there were many background jobs in the USA caused by the economic downswing. At the tallness of the Depression in 1933, about 25 % of the state ‘s entire population, approximately 12,830,000 were unemployed. As poorness increased, people looked for person to fault. They told themselves that things would be better without the cultural minorities, and that it was their mistake. At this point in history, bias and racial favoritism was at its greatest doing segregation between the inkinesss and the Whites ; they lived individually and had different benches, churches and coach precedences. In 1932, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected as the state ‘s president. He tried to clean up the economic system and better it but, despite all his attempts and the bravery of the American people, the Depression hung on until 1941. The novel was written in 1959 and published in 1960. It is likely that many of its content were based on the effects of the great depression, therefore including the Scottsboro tests which formed the footing of Tom Robinson ‘s test in the novel. The novel besides draws influences from the consequence of the Civil Rights Movement, which was determined to set up racial equality.

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Although ab initio Maycomb may look to hold negative facets, there are in fact, several positive facets to be explored. Maycomb regards itself as a really spiritual town. Everything is kept in simplest signifier to forestall distraction from God. Jem tells Dill that they: “ Do n’t hold any image shows here, except Jesus 1s in the courthouse sometimes. ” This shows how Maycomb does non desire its dwellers to go distrait and less faithful to the church. Throughout the novel there are many mentions to God, “ I could n’t travel to church and worship God if I did n’t assist that adult male ” . This emphasises the relationship that the citizens of Maycomb have with the church. We besides learn that the people spend a batch of their clip at church during the hebdomad: “ In the long hours of church ” this reminds us of what a strong, spiritual community Macomb is, as its dwellers are faithful and honest to the church. Church-going is described as Maycomb ‘s “ rule diversion ” .

Maycomb is a stopping point, strong edge community and everyone helps when there is a crisis. We see this during the fire at Miss Maudie ‘s house: “ the work forces of Maycomb, in all grades of frock and undress, took furniture from Miss Maudie ‘s house to a pace across the street. ” This shows how Maycomb can be a supportive community and that most people help out when person is in problem. We see how many of the people act in a epic manner as they risk their lives to salvage some of Miss Maudie ‘s properties: “ I saw Atticus transporting Miss Maudie ‘s heavy oak swaying chair, and I thought it reasonable of him to salvage what she valued the most ” . Atticus seems to understand what is of import to Miss Maudie and this shows how many of the neighbors are close friends since it is a really little community. Even though they do non acquire along awfully good, Miss Stephanie helps out by offering cordial reception to Miss Maudie since she has nowhere to travel. Towards the terminal of this chapter, it appears that even Boo Radley may hold helped during the fire. Having watched the fire from in forepart of the Radley gate, Scout is appalled when she discovers that Boo may hold helped by wrapping a cover around her shoulders whilst she was stop deading cold: “ I looked down and found myself seizing a brown woolen cover I was have oning around my shoulders… my tummy turned to H2O and I about threw up when Jem held out the cover and crept towards me. ” This reveals how the rumor about Boo Radley may be untrue as he seems to assist by demoing kindness during the fire. We besides notice how the community helps one another when Tim Johnson, the rabid Canis familiaris, comes towards the dwellers houses down the route. Calpurnia is really quick-to-think as she informs everyone on the street non to travel outside. She even runs back outside to warn the Radleys non to come out. Besides, despite the fact that neither of them want to hit the Canis familiaris, both Atticus and Mr Tate arrive rapidly to cover with the state of affairs, in order to maintain the remainder of Maycomb safe.

Maycomb has many respectable citizens. Throughout the novel, we admire Atticus for his polite, modest and respectful behavior. He sees people for who they truly are and does non judge them harmonizing to rumors and myths: “ you ne’er truly understand person until you climb into their tegument and walk about in it ” this is his method of understanding people and it is an of import message in the novel. He is gracious to everyone, including those he does non acquire along with: “ Good eventide, Mrs Dubose! You look like a image this forenoon ” . This demonstrates how Atticus is a capturing gentleman as he uses his niceness to cover with uneasy state of affairss. Atticus understands Mrs Dubose and her status and despite her demanding manners he remains pleasant and we think extremely of his respectable manners, as he seeks to happen the best in everyone.

Miss Maudie is a sort, gentle, respectable individual. She believes that everyone deserves to be treated reasonably and every bit and does non wish to dish the dirt about people. She is really respectful towards everyone ; when Scout asks her if Boo is still alive, she corrects him by stating: “ His name ‘s Arthur ” . This shows that Miss Maudie does non believe he should be treated any otherwise from anyone else, merely because of the rumor, and deserves to be addressed by his existent name. When Aunt Alexandra arrives in Maycomb, everyone is really sort and welcoming to her: “ Miss Maudie Atkinson baked a Lane bar so laden with shinney it made me tight ; Miss Stephanie Crawford had long visits with Aunt Alexandra, dwelling largely of Miss Stephanie agitating her caput and stating, ‘Uh, uh, uh, ‘ Miss Rachel following door had aunty over for java in the afternoons, and Mr Nathan Radley went so far as to come up in the front pace and state he was glad to see her. ” This shows that the people in Maycomb are really polite and friendly towards ‘the right types ‘ of new citizens, giving pleasant first feelings. We besides see this when we are told that “ Aunt Alexandra fitted in the universe of Maycomb like a manus into a baseball mitt. ” It shows how everyone has helped to settle her in and do her feel like portion of their community.

In Maycomb, there are seldom occasions where people are forced to confront their frights, as the town is normally really quiet and nil much happens. However there are some minutes in the novel where we do witness some illustrations of bravery. Chapter 6 shows an illustration of physical bravery when Jem returns to the Radley house to roll up is pants. Previously in the scene, we notice how Jem is in fact the frightened character of the kids: “ Jem leaped off the porch and galloped towards us… Jem ‘s breath came in sobs- ‘fence by the school pace! – haste, Scout! ‘ ” , this emphasizes the terrorization atmosphere as he is the 1 who we would anticipate to be the bravest. We admire Jem for his bravery and courage when he returns to acquire his pants and confront his frights. Chapter 10, Atticus is loath to hit the Canis familiaris as he has non shot a gun for 30 old ages since he believes that he has been given an unjust advantage, “ he realized that God had given him an unjust advantage over most living things ” . This shows that he is a civilized individual and does non desire to utilize his endowment to destruct guiltless life things. As he has non used a gun in such a long clip, Atticus is somewhat dying as he is told “ miss and you ‘ll travel directly into the Radley house ” . There is besides the possibility that if he is inaccurate, he may injure the Canis familiaris instead than killing it. All of these factors increase tenseness: “ Atticus pushed his spectacless to his brow ; they slipped down, and he dropped them in the street. In the silence I heard them cleft. ” This increases the tenseness and makes us experience sympathy for him. We respect him for the bravery he has to hit the Canis familiaris for the benefit of Maycomb, despite the anxiousness and jobs he encounters. Despite Maycomb ‘s racial bias, Atticus agrees to stand for Tom Robinson in the test. He knows that it will do trouble for his household: “ when summer comes you ‘ll hold to maintain your caput about far worse things… it ‘s non just for you and Jem, I know that ” we notice that he is boding the test and this tells us that things are traveling to acquire bad. We can feel it will be hard as there will be added force per unit area created by the community ‘s attitudes. This is where we see courage: “ I ‘ve got to populate with myself. The one thing that does n’t stay by bulk regulation is a individual ‘s scruples ” , Atticus is doing a base which shows that he is determined to acquire through the hard state of affairs yet to be. Another member of Maycomb, who exhibits bravery, is Mrs Dubose. This is where we see that although her physical province was weak, underneath she was strong and focused on what she wanted to accomplish: “ her whole head and organic structure were concentrated on that dismay clock ” . This shows how determined she was to liberate herself organize the morphia dependence. Atticus admires her for her courage “ she said she meant to interrupt herself of it before she died, and that ‘s what she did ” this is a really powerful illustration of ‘real ‘ bravery in the novel as it shows independency and it brings to mind that with finding, about anything can be overcome.

We see how Maycomb values tradition as its dwellers do non wish to develop or alter their ways. Although at the clip the North was going rather developed, many Southern provinces did non develop, and remained largely husbandmans with their Fieldss: “ stripped of everything but their land, yet the tradition of life on the land remained unbroken ” . This shows how they were rather happy with their usual, traditional methods of life. Maycomb is a simple town and there is small to make or to purchase as it does non desire any of the new modern engineering: “ Do n’t hold any picture-shows here ” , this shows how Maycomb is ‘behind its clip ‘ as other countries such as Meridian, Mississippi, where Dill comes from, have moved on from this phase and are more advanced with engineering. Maycomb County is really proud of itself and people such as Mr Cunningham do non desire to alter their hapless ways of life: “ Mr Cunningham could acquire a W.P.A. occupation, but his land would travel to destroy if he left it, and he was willing to travel hungry to maintain his land and ballot as he pleased ” . This shows how Maycomb values tradition as they are proud of it.

However, there are besides many negative facets of Maycomb which we encounter. Maycomb is a divided society and suffers from category bias so everyone is treated otherwise. The Finches and Miss Maudie are both respectable Whites and give the feeling that they live pleasant easy-going lives. Although, subsequently in the novel we find out that this is non the instance as we see that Atticus is faced with many hard challenges doing corruptness in the vicinity. We therefore admire him for his endowment at concealing his true emotions and feelings by misdirecting others to believe that he has an easy-going life. The bulk of the community respect the Finches and Miss Maudie for their sort nature and pleasant personalities as they understand people and see them for who they genuinely are. We see that there are characters in the community who think themselves as respectable but do non act in the right mode, that they should. Mrs Dubose is ill-mannered and strong-willed when we come across her in the novel: “ Do n’t you say hey to me, you ugly girl! You say good afternoon Mrs Dubose! ” . Though she is impolite she has manners and demands people to act in the same manner. Aunt Alexandra is obsessed with the high quality of the Finch household. She bosses Calpurnia from the minute she arrives: – ” set my bag in forepart of the sleeping room, Calpurnia. ” She does non look to demo any regard to members of the ‘lower category ‘ as she believes she is far superior and hence does non necessitate to. She is besides autocratic to the kids and wants them to populate up to their name: “ she asked me to state you that you must seek to act like the small lady and gentleman you are. ” this shows how she is unsated with how Jem and Scout behave and wants them to make as she says to alter their ways.

We notice there are two types of people enduring from the effects of poorness in the novel. The Cunninghams are really hapless husbandmans who have been affected by the depression. They do non hold the money to purchase things, they own really few ownerships and most of the clip they are hungry. We admire them for their unity as they ne’er borrow things that they can non pay back.

The Ewells are besides hapless though they are besides uneducated. The Ewells “ [ are ] members of an sole society made up of Ewells ” . They take the jurisprudence into their ain custodies because they are incontrollable so no 1 can halt them. In chapter 3, we learn more about the Ewell household and get down to understand what their place life is like. Since they are hapless, they are besides really dirty as they do non hold adequate money to clean themselves and make non care. We foremost encounter this when Scout describes Burris Ewells visual aspect during school: “ he was the filthiest homo I had of all time seen. His cervix was dark Grey, the dorsums of his custodies were rusty, and his finger-nails were black deep into the quick. He peered at Miss Caroline from a fist-sized clean infinite on his face. ” This tells us that he does non populate a peculiarly healthy life at place and it is likely that his male parent hits him. We besides see that he is really ill-mannered and cruel, due a tough household life. We see this put into action when Burris Ewell abuses Miss Caroline: “ Ai n’t no bigheaded slattern of a instructor of all time born c’n make me de nothin ‘ ! You ai n’t makin ‘ me go nowhere, missis. ” This emphasises the cruel, heartless characters the Ewells all inherit as they seem to bask contemptuous people and doing them disquieted. We find out that Mr Bob Ewell is a really irresponsible male parent and we see this when he “ spends his alleviation checks on green whiskey his kids have a manner of shouting from hungriness strivings. ” This shows how he neglects his children- he is an alcoholic so he is frequently intoxicated and takes his force out on the kids by hitting them, he does n’t do them travel to school and does non feed them decently so they starve. We see from this how the Cunninghams are a much better category of people than the uneducated Ewells.

However even the Ewells are non regarded every bit low as the black community, who are automatically seen as the underside of the category system. They live beyond the town rubbish shit, which shows they are treated like trash, behind the Ewell abode and are kept off every bit far as possible. The black community are wholly demonised and anything that goes incorrect is ever their mistake, this is similar to how Boo is treated. When the kids sneak into the collard spot everyone automatically assumes that it was one of the Negroes: “ Mr Radley shooting at a Black at his collard spot. ” This shows how no affair the effects, people will ever impeach a member of the black community. In chapter 12, when Jem and Scout go to the first purchase church with Calpurnia, we are told that “ Negroes worshipped in it on Sundays and white work forces gambled in it on weekdays ” this shows that the white community do non demo any signifier of regard and we see it as a shame, particularly since it is a church. We besides notice that it is disputing the stereotypes. The First Purchase church has a really low nature: “ he stood beside a tabular array in forepart of the dais and requested the forenoon offering. ” We see that they have good purposes as they plan to raise adequate money to assist Tom Robinson ‘s married woman and household, so we admire their humbleness, devotedness and inspiration. We besides see that the church truly respects Atticus, “ This church has no better friend than your dada. ” It shows that they truly appreciate what he is making for Tom, despite the troubles and jobs it is doing.

Maycomb is a really prejudiced community and there are many racialist citizens. Mrs Dubose tells the kids that their “ male parent ‘s no better than the niggas and rubbish he works for! ” this shows how strongly opinionated some of the people are. Scout ‘s cousin Francis says that Atticus is “ destroying the household ” and we see how Aunt Alexandra does non wish to speak about of import affairs “ in forepart of Calpurnia and them ” these illustrations all show how Maycomb does non hold any regard for the black community and are unwilling to understand that they deserve to be treated the same. However, we besides see another signifier of bias: “ I wants to cognize why you bringin ‘ white chillun to nigger church. ” This is a new signifier of bias where we see black people being prejudiced to white people and besides to one another: “ halt right at that place, nigger ” . It is possible that they are seeking to devaluate the significance by utilizing it to name one another. However, we notice how the black community act instantly on any signifier of bias and trade with the job as they feel it is inappropriate and unacceptable behavior. This is a different reaction from the white people as they do non seek to command the bias and racial favoritism as they do non look to care about it. This is an of import chapter which the author has included. It emphasizes how the black and white community differ in the manner that they respond to prejudiced behavior. We learn that the black community have a much more respectable and honorable manner of covering with uneasy state of affairss as they are willing to work out any arising job. We observe how Miss Caroline does non understand that the Maycomb kids are ‘tough ‘ and cognize how to make most of the things, that she has come to learn, already. She is unmindful to the fact that they ‘come from a different universe ‘ to her and are more experience than she thinks. We notice how the kids are leery of foreigners and are prejudice and judgemental to get down with, since she has arrived from a different portion of the state.

Maycomb is a really intolerant community and expects people who are different to conform. They are rough and do non accept people for who they are, like Boo. Most of the community spreads rumors and chitchat about Boo Radley, portraying him as a ‘Malevolent apparition ‘ . They demonise him and fault him for morbid nocturnal events:

“ Although the perpetrator was Crazy Addie, who finally drowned himself in Barker ‘s Eddy, people still looked at the Radley Place, unwilling to fling their initial intuitions. ”

As he is different from everyone else, the dwellers fear what might be and are really superstitious: “ the Radley chickenyard tall pecan trees shook their fruit into the schoolyard, but the nuts were left untasted: Radley pecans would kill you. ” They do non handle him the same as everyone else as they feel since he is an castaway from the community, he means danger. We see that Maycomb is really prejudiced, in chapter 5 when we learn about the ‘Foot-washing Baptists ‘ . The writer cleverly utilizations ‘foot washers ‘ as a manner to convey the intolerance of Maycomb into the narrative. They believe that anything that is a pleasance is a wickedness and that if people do non follow the ‘correct ‘ ways of life, by remaining indoors and reading the bible, they might every bit good merely travel to hell: “ they thought I spent excessively much clip in God ‘s out-of-doorss and non adequate clip inside the house reading the bible… and told me me and my flowers were traveling to hell ” . This is an illustration of intolerance taken to an extreme. It shows how the foot-washing Baptist churchs do non accept other people ‘s differences and it exaggerates the intolerant attitude that they have towards others. When Aunt Alexandra comes to remain, we see that she stereotypes people in Maycomb. She believes that everyone had a run: “ Everyone in Maycomb it seemed had a run: a Drinking run, a Gambling run, a Mean run, a Funny run. ” This shows how she is really judgemental of other people and their households. She is really different from Atticus- who sees people for who they are and does non judge people. She besides has really traditional positions of how adult females should act and the appropriate vesture one should have on. We see several illustrations of this and one is when she tells Lookout: “ it would be best for you to hold some feminine influence. It wo n’t be many old ages before you are interested in apparels and male childs ” this shows how Aunt Alexandra has high outlooks for how a lady should act. We besides see how she is prejudice and does non see Calpurnia as an appropriate beginning of feminine influence. She does non O.K. of Scout ‘s personality or behavior and describes her as “ sulky ” .

Throughout the novel, we learn about the attitudes of Maycomb from a kid ‘s point of position. Scout ‘s naivete encourages us to look at the unfairnesss from a new angle and to oppugn the values of the town. The guiltless six twelvemonth old, inquiries the significance of issues, like colza, which develops our societal consciousness of the novel. To get down with, on the surface of Maycomb, we see it as a friendly, harmless topographic point where nil much happens. Children drama on the streets and “ ladies bathed before midday, after their three-o’clock sleeps ” which creates an easy-going, guiltless, trouble-free image. However, the more we learn about it the more concerned we become about the serious jobs with bias and racism that Maycomb holds. The writer smartly makes us gain that there is much more to Maycomb than what we thought at the beginning of the novel.

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