Africans in southern states like Maycomb were generally decended from slaves.  Caucasians were used to feel that they were more "inferior" than Africans.  How does the poverty of the township in...

Africans in southern states like Maycomb were generally decended from slaves.  Caucasians were used to feel that they were more "inferior" than Africans.  How does the poverty of the township in Maycomb affect these types of relationships?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In Harper Lee's novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, the poverty in the township of Maycomb does play a role in the relationhips among the townspeople especially between the white and black citizens. White citizens tended to see themselves as superior to the people of color simply because the historical relationship had been one of either slave to owner or servant to employer.  Changing the thinking of the white citizens was made even more difficult if the white person was very poor because then the economics made the poor black man his economic equal. At the time the book takes place, Africans born in Africa were almost non-existent in the South.  No white man wanted to be below a black man in status which is why Tom Robinson is on trial for his life.  The Ewell family did not want to be seen as equal or below Tom's status in the township as that would be a disgrace for any white man.  

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