What aspects of To Kill a Mockingbird seem to be particular to its setting? What aspects are universal in nature?

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The novel To Kill a Mockingbird is both set within a specific time and transcendent in its message. Much of the background and setting of the novel is very specific to its time and place. For example, the novel takes place in the deep South during the Great Depression. You can see this in the descriptions of the characters' clothing and actions as well as the description of the town itself: an impoverished environment is evident in much of the novel.

Many of the gifts that are left for Scout and Jem are small trinkets (such as gum or a trashed watch) that have little monetary value are nevertheless interesting to the children in their mysterious origin. Additionally, the kids would play in the fields by shooting a BB gun, indicating that they spend most of their time exploring the outdoors.

The themes are much more transcendent though. Racism was prevalent and pervasive throughout American culture during this time period, and so it is certainly not unique to this region. In fact, racism and...

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