Examples Of The Great Depression In To Kill A Mockingbird

Submitted By Will_Link
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Will Link
Mrs. Heroux
World Literature­ Period 3
20 March 2014 The Great Depression in To Kill A Mockingbird "A worldwide depression struck countries with market economies at the end of the 1920s"
(Smiley 1). Many families were affected by the Great Depression. The Great Depression was caused "by a whole bunch of factors including deflation where money is not worth as much as it used to be, A decline in trade this is important because if no one is buying our goods then we cannot make money" (Becker, Howarth 1). The book To Kill a Mockingbird was set in this time.
People in To Kill a Mockingbird were affected by the Great Depression in three ways: high unemployment rate, small amounts of money, and anger in people. The Great Depression caused "unemployment rates in the United States reached almost 25%, with more than 11 million people looking for work" (Unemployment During The Great
Depression 1). In society a person who is fending for himself needs a job. Without a job you cannot have all of the other things. A job is very important and without one life becomes extremely tedious.

Near thirty million Americans had lost their source of income, from unemployment ”
(Everyday Life during the Depression 1).

African Americans suffered more than whites, since their jobs were often taken away from them and given to whites

(The Great
Depression 1). In the beginning of the book To Kill a Mockingbird Scout says

There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the

boundaries of Maycomb County

(Lee 6). The city of Maycomb was a poor city. People in it did not have much money. They didn

t have much to buy or sell. People found it difficult to find jobs. The ones that did have jobs found it hard to keep them. Farmers were going out of business due to no one buying crops and produce. High unemployment rate results in small amounts of personal money. People could often not pay rent causing the land owner to go poor. After the stock market crash lots of money had disappeared. To make matters worse

farmers had less and less money to spend in town, banks began to fail at alarming rates

(Ganzel 1). The banks were closing down losing other peoples money. The Great Depression affected every aspect of life. Families need money to survive. They need money to buy food, water, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. A family often has to work extremely hard just to do stay alive. They have to grow their own wheat, but they need money to buy seeds. In the book Scout asks

Are we poor Atticus?

(Lee 21). Atticus replies saying they are. The
Ewell family got the harder part of the Depression because of them being farmers. Atticus explained

As Maycomb County was farm country, nickels and dimes were hard to come by for doctors and dentists and lawyers

(Lee 21). The Ewells were too poor to pay taxes with money so they had to pay them with food. The people that found it hard to find money could not provide a good service or good. High unemployment and small amounts of money eventually make people angry.

Blamed by many for the Great Depression, Hoover was widely ridiculed

(The Great
Depression 1). People became angry because Hoover said that it would be over after 60 years.
The Great Depression made peoples lives harder which in turn made them angry at the

government. It got harder for people to get along making it harder to find jobs. When people are angry they do things they would usually regret doing. This could cause someone to do something that might prevent them ever getting a job. The people sometimes would be to angry to get up and do something. Which in turn made other people angry at them. In To Kill a Mockingbird Lula became angry that the children were there and said

You ain

t got no business