To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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What attitudes seem prevalent as a result of elements of setting in the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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The main attitudes that seem pervasive in rural Southern Maycomb are racism and prejudice against different social classes. 

The elements of setting that are most significant here are historical context and local customs.  The time the story took place, in the 1930s, and the practices of the South, had an impact on the story.

All of these elements are present in the first few chapters.

The first distinction we are introduced to is class distinction.  Walter Cunningham, Scout’s classmate, comes to school without a lunch.  His teacher, Miss Caroline, tries to give him money to buy lunch.  He refuses, because he does not have any way to pay it back and his family is too proud to take charity.

Since their father is a lawyer and they belong to a good family, Jem and Scout are not really poor.  However, they don’t have gobs of money either.

Atticus said professional people were poor...

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