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Word Count: 1,308
In the middle of this century the South was sharply divided along racial lines Class distinctions and prejudices left over from the era of slavery caused racial tension as blacks fought for equal rights Violations of this class system were the basis for Harper Lees novel To Kill a Mockingbird It follows the conviction of an apparently innocent black man sentenced almost entirely due to his race The old ways of the south hindered justice for the underclass The novel was Lees hopeful vision for change in the traditionally racially divided South The actions of Atticus present this idea into the microcosm that Lee created of the SouthAfter the South lost the Civil War the institution of slavery was brought down The Southern slave owners reluctantly emancipated their slaves The feeling that blacks were inferior remained causing widespread prejudice against the race This developed into a caste system Erisman 2 For example the black church in Maycomb which was a place of worship on Sunday was described as being a gambling house for white men on weekdays Lee 98 Class distinctions within the white class were also demonstrated Atticus Finch represented the middle class while the lower class was portrayed by Bob Ewell Mersand n pag In Maycomb these varying classes represented the different classes in the entire South In this way the author created a cross-section of Southern society and Maycomb was a microcosm of this society This is not done simply by representing different classes and races but also by representing different ages genders and lifestyles One of the most important examples of representing different ages is with Atticus and his children Part of the story focuses on his mature and truthful view of society Another part focuses on his children and their perceptions of the events in Maycomb Another way that Maycomb is like a microcosm of the south is that its history was described as being similar to that of the
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