To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
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Where and how can you see the effects of the Great Depression in the play/book To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Lynn Ramsson eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The Great Depression serves as a subtle backdrop to the events that unfold in the novel, but evidence of its effect on various characters who live in Maycomb is present. For example, when Mr. Cunningham brings Atticus goods rather than money as payment for Atticus's services, the reader understands that bartering is Mr. Cunningham's only option; he has no money with which to pay his debts, a sign of serious economic hardship. Additionally, Scout, as narrator, is explicit that in Maycomb, there are few things to buy and even less money to buy things with; this difficult economic truth enhances the value of the small items Boo Radley leaves in the tree for Scout and Dill, who are not used to receiving material gifts from anyone at this stage in life.

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teacher2011 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Absolutely, the Cunninghams and Ewells represent families living poorly. The difference of course is that the...

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bullgatortail eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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mkcapen1 | Student

Evidence of the great depression abounds in the book To Kill a Mockingbird.  For example Bob Ewell does not mind getting financial help but he will not take a position working under a program that was sponsored by FDR. 

The Cunningham children as well as the Ewell's are very poor only Mr. Cunningham will not take food rations or help. 

"The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them hardest."(23)

The book talks about Mr. Cunningham being able to get a WPA job, but he doesn't want to let his land go to pot.  He also does not want to feel like he ahd sold his vote.