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Historical background to 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
Transcript of Historical background to 'To Kill a Mockingbird'
Racial persecution came to be seen as totally unacceptable.
The oppressed minority started to insist on their rights Civil Rights Movement The Great Depression 1930-late 30's/ mid-40's Racism after the Civil War Historical background to
'To Kill a Mockingbird' History Pre-reading Novel Setting Maycomb (fictional town)
State – Alabama, USA
In the 1930s The fictional trial and shooting of Tom Robinson is a painful reminder of the real life persecution and murder of African Americans over several centuries.
From where did this hatred & prejudice come? African Americans were brought to North America for the sole purpose of slavery.
Though they have officially had equal status for over 100 years, their lives have only recently begun to resemble total racial equality. Slavery The Ku Klux Klan was established in 1865. The KKK was a secret society devoted to perpetuating racism by violence and murder.
By the 1920s it had some 5 million members! The Klan is quite inclusive in its exclusions.
Not only are African Americans targeted by the KKK they are also against all faiths other than Protestant Christianity and all ethnic backgrounds other than Anglo-Saxon. In 1955, a black woman refused to sit in the ‘coloured’ section of the bus. She was arrested.
Her action led to a massive boycott of the bus system, organised by a young Baptist minister, Dr Martin Luther King, who was to become a great civil rights leader. It is important to note the social and political climate surrounding the setting of the novel as well as the time that it was written. They are implicitly linked by the rise of civil rights and the issues of intolerance, morality and justice. Setting Lee grew up in a town called Monroeville, Alabama.
Published in 1960.
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. (Nelle) Harper Lee American Author
'To Kill a Mockingbird' is her only published book.
Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her contribution to literature.
Close friend of another famous author, Truman Capote.
A severe worldwide economic downturn The longest, most widespread and deepest depression of the 20th century Originated in the U.S., after the fall in stock prices Personal income, tax revenue, profits and prices dropped, while international trade plunged by more than 50%. Unemployment in the U.S. rose to 25%, and in some countries rose as high as 33%