To Kill A Mocking Bird By Lee In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee the main setting of Maycomb County, a southern American county is of great importance to the novel. Maycomb defines the actions people take. It is the kind of town where you expect this kind of prejudice, divisions and narrow-mindedness to take place. The novel is set in the 1930s. The world situation is one of strife and hardship because of the Great Depression.
This trouble and difficulty had spread to America and slowly bleed into Maycomb County, where the depressed economy made it hard for the townspeople to make ends meet. Most of Maycombs farming community was out of the job. Scout best sums up the situation faced by Maycomb County with the words, There was no hurry because there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County. The previous quote also indicates the extent of how poor the Maycomb community is. That not may people have travelled outside Maycomb to see the rest of the world because they did not have enough money. This leads to a narrow-minded community.
Maycomb had recently been told it has nothing to fear but to fear itself, this quote further shows prevalence of narrow-mindedness amongst the community. Their views have not been changed over time the just believe what their ancestor believed. You might hear some ugly talk about it (Atticus case), but do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down, Atticus tells Scout. This is an example of the narrow-mindedness of the town, as they take their anger, of Atticus defending Tom Robinson, out on Scout. For example, even Scouts cousin calls Atticus a nigger lover and takes his families anger of Atticus case out on Scout.
This narrow-mindedness in a community as small a Maycomb leads to divisions and prejudice. The main division and prejudice is between the blacks and the whites. For example when Lula confronts Calpurnia, You aint got no business bringin white chillun here-they got their church, we got ourn. This shows the prejudice from the blacks to whites. This is a small part of the division and prejudice between the blacks and whites. The prejudice from the whites to the blacks is enormous.
In the novel, the main prejudice is from most of the white community, to mainly Tom Robinson and the rest of the black community. The blacks were frequently referred to as niggers and trash There are also economic divisions and prejudice, which take place because of the setting. The division in the novel is mainly between the whole town and the Ewells. No economic fluctuations changed their status- people like the Ewells lived as guests of the country in prosperity as well as in the depths of a depression, this is an example of many people not liking the Ewells because of their lazy attitude and economic position. Furthermore, the social division and prejudice is a main part of the novel.
Theres four kinds of folks in the world. Theres the ordinary kind like us and the neighbours, theres the kind like the Cunninghams out in the woods, the kind like the Ewells down at the dump and the Negroes. The blacks are still held below everybody but this shows the social barriers that exist amongst the people in Maycomb. In conclusion, the southern setting of Maycomb County acts a backbone for the novel. Without it most of the events would not be relevant or even not exist. The black and white division and prejudice would not be as strong. Being a poor community Maycomb had narrow-minded views; this will cease to exist if Maycomb was a city centre. That is why I feel Maycomb, as a setting, is of such an immense importance to the novel.