The Role Of Setting In To Kill A Mockingbird

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The Role of Setting in To Kill a Mockingbird Setting is a vital part of narrative storytelling because it provides a contextual understanding for the actions, attitudes, and behaviors of the characters. The setting is responsible for telling the reader if a character’s actions fit within the cultural norm, which we see many examples of in To Kill a Mockingbird. In a coming of age novel, such as Lee Harper’s novel, setting shows the reader (and the coming of age characters) the opinions of a small 1930’s Depression-struck southern town. The setting plays a substantial part in defining the relationship between Boo and the town, Atticus and the town, and Atticus and the local African American community. From the very start of the novel, Boo Radley is made out to be almost a monster of sorts. When provoked to agitate Boo, Jem says to Dill, “’I hope you’ve got it through your head that he’ll kill us each and every one, Dill Harris,’ said Jem, when we joined him. Don’t blame me when he gouges your eyes out…’” (Lee 17). In a town where the social conventions are law, Boo’s introverted ways are alien to the townsfolk. It is the unknown of which they are afraid, and it’s because of this fear that they spread rumors and tell tales of Boo, in order to frighten their children into staying away and making him into some sort of “malevolent phantom” (Lee 10). A stranger to the town’s inhabitants and its ways, Boo doesn’t adhere to its social standards. For example, “The shutters and doors of the Radley house were closed on Sundays, another thing alien to Maycomb’s ways: closed doors meant illness and cold weather only” (Lee 11). In a town where social status and interaction is placed above all, Boo’s overt opposition of it adds to his role of
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