Where does the National Recovery Act (1930s) appear in the book To Kill a Mockingbird? In what chapter is the quote where Scout asks Atticus about the NRA and he tells her that nine old men killed it? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The reference to the NRA comes in Chapter 27 of To Kill A Mockingbird. The NRA, or the National Industrial Recovery Act, to give it its full name, was a New Deal law designed to give the President sweeping powers to regulate industry. It was a hugely controversial measure that was attacked by its opponents as an assault on economic freedom.

Given the level of opposition, it was inevitable that the NRA would be subject to a legal challenge, and that's precisely what happened. In 1935 the US Supreme Court struck down the NRA as unconstitutional. That's what Atticus is referring to when he says that "nine old men"—i.e. the justices of the Supreme Court—killed it. The Act was never replaced, and so once those posters came down in Maycomb and elsewhere, they stayed down.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

You can find author Harper Lee's mention of the NRA (National Recovery Act) in Chapter 27 of To Kill a Mockingbird. The reference has to do with Maycomb getting back to normal following the trial and death of Tom Robinson. There were "two minor changes." One had to do with the Halloween pageant, since Halloween had previously been a "completely unorganized affair." But the mischief involving the Misses Tutti & Frutti prompted the town to host an organized pageant this year, and Scout discovered that she would be required to take part. The other change was the removal

... from their store windows and automobiles the stickers that said NRA--WE DO OUR PART. I asked Atticus why, and he said the National Recovery Act was dead. I asked who killed it: he said nine old men.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial