Examples of historical setting in To Kill a Mockingbird:
- "Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself." (Chapter 1) The quote is attributed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt from his inaugural speech in March 1933--just a few months before Dill arrived in Maycomb for the first time.
- "Dill had seen Dracula, a revelation that moved Jem to eye him with the beginning of respect." (Chapter 1) The famed film version of Dracula, starring Bela Lugosi, was released in 1931.
- "There is a tendency in this year of our grace, 1935..." (Chapter 20). This sets the date exactly; since school is out, we know that the trial takes place in Summer 1935.
- "... there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein..." (Chapter 20). This quote sets the date sometime in the 1930s, since Rockefeller did not become president until 1933.
- "... the National Recovery Act was dead. I asked who killed it: he said nine old men." (Chapter 27) The NRA was ruled unconstitutional by the U. S. Supreme Court--the nine old men--in May 1935.
The historical setting of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is the 1930's in Alabama about 60 years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863. The purpose of this famous document was to provide freedom for African-Americans, however during the 1930's social conditions had not improved a whole lot for blacks. For African Americans prejudice was a reality that they experienced every day.
Some quotes that prove the historical setting are:
"nigger lover" chapter 9, page 87
"Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up is something i dont pretnd to understand" chapter 9
"There's a black boy dead for no reason" chapter 30, page 278
"As you grow older you'll see, white men cheat black men everyday of your life" Chapter 23
"All Negros lie, ...All Negros are basically immoral beings" Chapter 26