Presentation on theme: "To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee. SETTING OF THE NOVEL Southern United States 1930’s –Great Depression –Prejudice and legal segregation –Ignorance."— Presentation transcript:
To Kill a Mockingbird By Harper Lee
SETTING OF THE NOVEL Southern United States 1930’s –Great Depression –Prejudice and legal segregation –Ignorance
1930’s - Great Depression began when the stock market crashed in October, 1929 The Effect of the Wall Street Crash: - People saved money, withdrew money from banks, banks collapsed, and companies went bankrupt. Businesses failed, factories closed: –People were out of work –Even people with money suffered because nothing was being produced for sale. As a result, people lost their homes, were forced to “live off the land.”
Social and Economic Climate of the 1930s The Rise of Unemployment
There are three different social classes present in the south during this time In “To Kill a Mockingbird”, we see the white side of town, the black side of town, and the “white trash” side of town. There are characters from each area of town that we encounter and witness their relationship with one another.
“White trash” Poor, uneducated white people who lived on “relief” – lowest social class, even below the poor blacks – prejudiced against black people –felt the need to “put down” blacks in order to elevate themselves
Racial prejudice was alive & well. Although slavery had ended in 1864, old ideas were slow to change.
Racial separation (segregation)
Prejudice in the novel Race Gender Handicaps Rich/Poor Age Religion
Effects of Unemployment Hoboing was common during the Depression. For some, riding freight trains was an appealing adventure compared to the drudgery and dreariness of their daily lives. Others hopped rail cars to move from one fruitless job search to the next.
Unemployment: The relation to the novel On March 25, 1931, two dozen or so mainly young white males rode the Southern Railroad's Chattanooga to Memphis freight train. Among them were four black Chattanooga teenagers hoping to investigate a rumor of government jobs in Memphis hauling logs on the river and five other black teens from various parts of Georgia. Four young whites, two males and two females dressed in overalls, also rode the train, returning to Huntsville from unsuccessful job searches in the cotton mills of Chattanooga.
Scottsboro Trial Very famous trial in American history A crime that never occurred but led to many trials, convictions, reversals, and retrials. In 1931, nine black teenage boys were accused of ran alleged gang rape by two white girls (these were the passengers on the train). Their trial lasted six years and during this time the men were kept in jail. Despite the fact that one of the girls changed her testimony and claimed that the rape had not ever occurred, five of the nine were convicted of rape. Over the course of the two decades that followed, the struggle for justice of the "Scottsboro Boys," as the black teens were called, made them well- known, launched and ended careers, wasted lives, produced heroes, opened southern juries to blacks, intensified sectional strife, and divided America's political left.
Legal Issues of the 1930’s which impact the story Women given the vote in 1920 Juries were MALE and WHITE “Fair trial” did not include acceptance of a black man’s word against a white man’s
Gender Bias (Prejudice) Women were considered “weak” Women were generally not educated for occupations outside the home In wealthy families, women were expected to oversee the servants and entertain guests Men were not considered capable of nurturing children
Plessy vs. Furgeson U. S. Supreme Court Case that established the “separate but equal” ruling, justifying and greatly perpetuating segregation in the South. The state of Louisiana passed a law that required separate accommodations for blacks and whites on railroads. Homer Plessy tested this law when he bought a first class ticket on an all white train. When asked to get up, he declined and was arrested. Plessy lost when the judge, John Ferguson, ruled that the state had the right to regulate the R.R. companies. The law separating the two races was acceptable as a matter of public policy