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The Divided World of To Kill A Mockingbird

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The Divided World of To Kill A Mockingbird An introduction to the setting and social issues confronted in Harper Lee s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: The Divided World of To Kill A Mockingbird


1
The Divided World of To Kill A Mockingbird
  • An introduction to the setting and social issues
    confronted in Harper Lees novel,
  • To Kill a Mockingbird.

2
To Kill a Mockingbird is
  • A picture of 1930s American society seen through
    the eyes of Scout Finch, an eight-year-old girl
    in Maycomb, Alabama.
  • Scouts world is divided, segmented, and
    separated by
    social class, race, gender, and age.

3
To Kill a Mockingbird is
  • A Bildungsroman
  • Meaning A novel of growing up maturing
  • German Bildungmaturing Romannovel
  • In a Bildungsroman, the central character grows
    from a state of innocence and naïveté to one of
    experience and enlightenment.
  • It is a coming-of-age novel, about the journey of
    growing up.

4
The Author Harper Lee
  • Wrote To Kill a Mockingbird (1st only novel) in
    1960 while working in the reservations department
    of an overseas airline.
  • She based the novel on her experiences growing up
    in Monroeville, Alabama.
  • Lee was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in
    1961.

5
The Setting
  • 2 things define the novels setting

The American South (Maycomb, Alabama)
The Great Depression of the 1930s
6
A Different World Prejudice
  • Even though we can identify with Scouts
    character and experiences, her world is
    dramatically different from ours.
  • Today, we discourage prejudice
  • Scouts world it was assumed, acknowledged, and
    encouraged
  • There were even laws that enforced prejudice!

7
A Different World Jim Crow Laws
  • Jim Crow Laws a racial caste system (a system
    that separates people into levels of society)
    that operated primarily (not exclusively) in
    southern states from 1877 through the 1960s.
  • States could impose legal punishments on people
    for having social contact with members of another
    race.
  • Laws forbade interracial marriage.
  • Laws ordered business owners and public
    institutions to keep black and white clients
    separated.

8
A Different World Jim Crow Laws
  • African Americans were not allowed to vote.
  • All interaction between races was restricted.
  • Water fountains
  • Door entrances exits
  • Hospitals, churches, prisons and public schools
  • Public restrooms
  • Separate accommodations were inferior to those
    given to whites.
  • Often, there were no facilities offered at all.

9
A Different World Jim Crow Laws
  • A Black male could not offer his hand (to shake
    hands) with a White male because it implied being
    socially equal.
  • A Black male could not offer his hand to a White
    woman, because he risked being accused of rape.

10
A Different World Jim Crow Laws
11
A Different World Jim Crow Laws
  • Blacks and Whites were not supposed to eat
    together.
  • If they did, Whites were to be served first, and
    some sort of partition was to be placed between

12
A Different World Jim Crow Laws
13
A Different World Jim Crow Laws
  • Lynch mobs directed their hatred against one
    (sometimes several) victims.
  • The victim was an example of what happened to a
    Black man who tried to vote, or who looked at a
    White woman, or who tried to get a White man's
    job.

14
The Use of the N Word
  • It should be no surprise that novel set in the
    racist atmosphere of 1930s Alabama contains
    repeated use of the N word.
  • It is right to feel uncomfortable with this word.
  • The use of this word does NOT mean that Harper
    Lee was racist.
  • In a novel about tense racial and social issues
    in the 1930s south, it is Lees responsibility to
    correctly reflect the beliefs and language of the
    people she is writing about.

NOTE You will NOT use the N-word in class
unless you are reading directly from the book or
writing a quotation from the book
15
A Different World Social Expectations
  • 1930s Alabama had specific social expectations
  • Children must be very polite to all white adults.
    Any adult has the right to scold and/or punish
    any disrespectful child.
  • People must be friendly and hospitable.
  • On Sundays, neighbors visit each other its rude
    to have your doors closed, as that looks like you
    dont want to socialize.
  • Everyone goes to church.
  • Men work to support their families women stay at
    home, care for their families, visit friends.
  • Anyone who didnt do these viewed with suspicion.

16
Social Hierarchy in Maycomb, Alabama
Somewhere I had received the impression that
Fine Folks were people who did the best they
could with the sense they had, but Aunt
Alexandria was of the opinionthat the longer a
family had been squatting on one patch of land
the finer it was (130).
17
A Comfortable World
  • Even though Scouts world may sound stifling and
    cruel, there are many good things about it, too
  • Neighbors help one another through tough times.
  • The community is close-knit everybody knows
    everybody elses business, but they also care
    about each other.
  • There are people who dont share their
    communitys prejudices and who fight against them.

18
The Great Depression
  • A depression a period of drastic economic
    decline with less business activity, falling
    prices (so people dont make as much money) and
    high levels of unemployment.
  • The Great Depression in America began with a
    stock market crash in 1929 and didnt end until
    1941.
  • Millions who once had enough money were now poor.
  • Poor people became poorer.

19
The Great Depression
  • Because of the Depression, some children in
    Scouts class have no food to bring for lunch and
    no money to buy one.
  • Many children cant pass the first grade because
    every year they have to leave school to help
    their families with the farming.
  • Some of her fathers law clients cant pay him in
    money instead, they give him things from their
    farmssuch as firewood.

20
The Great Depression
A poor farmers wife and child.
A poor mans transportation
21
Movie theater in an Alabama town.
A highway signboard Less Taxes- More Jobs
22
The Setting
A typical downtown area
A street like the one Scout lives on
23
Maycomb, Alabama1930s
  • This is the world we enter in To Kill a
    Mockingbirdthe world of the Finch family
  • 8 year-old Scout
  • Scouts 12 year-old brother, Jem

24
Maycomb, Alabama1930s
  • Atticus Finch, their father and a lawyer in the
    town
  • Calpurnia, their African American cook/nanny

25
Theme Topics to SUBSEARCH for
  • Social Inequality
  • Race
  • Justice
  • Morality Ethics
  • The Coexistence of Good Evil
  • Courage

26
  • Why is it important to climb in someones skin
    and walk around in it in order to truly
    understand a person?

27
  • How does labeling and stereotyping influence how
    we look at and understand the world?

28
  • What is the relationship between intolerance and
    injustice?

29
  • In what ways does appearance now always reflect
    reality?

30
  • What allows some individuals to take a stand
    against prejudice/oppression while others choose
    to participate in it?

31
  • What are the benefits and consequences of
    questioning/challenging social order?
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