The movie “To Kill a Mockingbird” represents the rough and struggling times of the Great Depression, while also telling a heart-warming tale of self-discovery and friendship. The story is told through the eyes of six-year-old Scout Finch, daughter of lawyer Atticus Finch and younger sister of 10-year-old Jem Finch. Jem and Scout are naive, adventurous kids who made it out on the wealthier end of the spectrum during the depression because of Atticus being a lawyer. Since Mrs. Finch passed away when the children were young, Calpurnia, the African-American housemaid, was the closest thing they had to a mother.
The legend of Boo Radley thrived in the town of Maycomb, and the stories were “enhanced” by the many gossipers as well as the children that believed and encouraged the tale. Boo was built up to be a mean, vicious monster that only came out at night to spy on the sleeping children in the town. Or so Jem and Scout thought. One summer, Dill, a seven-year-old boy who was visiting his Aunt Stephanie who lived next door to the Finches, came into Jem and Scout’s lives and the three’s adventures they shared kicked off a beautiful childhood friendship.
Dill was constantly manipulating the Finch children into sneaking into Boo’s yard at night and trying to get a peek in his window, to try to get a glimpse of the “monster”. When Tom Robinson, one of the blacks that lived in Maycomb, was convicted of raping farmer Bob Ewell’s daughter, Mayella, Officer Tate asked Atticus to defend him in his case. Knowing that doing so would practically ruin his career’s reputation, Atticus still accepted the case, being the loyal, goodhearted man that he was.
Unfortunately after blatantly proving that Tom was innocent, the racist jury ruled Tom guilty. On the way to the prison, Tom made an attempt to escape the police car, and was shot down and “accidentally” killed. One night, when Jem, Scout and Dill snuck out to try to get a peek at Boo Radley through the window of his house, an enormous shadow in the shape of a man hovered over the three. Extremely frightened that it was Boo, they frantically ran out of the backyard and under the chickenwire fence in the arden. On the way out, Jem’s trousers got caught on the wire, forcing him to wiggle out of them and run back to the Finch house in his underpants. After Dill went home, Jem made a run back to the garden to retrieve his pants so Atticus wouldn’t become suspicious of their whereabouts. When Jem reached the fence, he found his pants sloppily, but successfully sewn where they had torn, and neatly folded over the fence post. This baffled Jem, and led him to believe that this was an act of Boo.
Jem also found gifts in the knot of the old oak tree out front of Boo’s house every day, also assumed acts from Boo, and these events convinced Jem that maybe Boo wasn’t as horrible as everyone said, after all. After the school play that Scout participated in one night, Jem and Scout were walking home through the dark woods in a shortcut path. After hearing a few minutes of suspicious rustling in the bushes, drunken Mr. Ewell jumped out from the brush, jumping Jem and trying to strangle him because his father was a so-called “Negro-lover”.
Scout tried to stay out of sight as she horridly watched her brother get attacked. All of a sudden, another man came, fighting off Mr. Ewell and rescued Jem. When she found the right opportunity, Scout sprinted back to the house, telling Atticus what had happened, with the mysterious man carrying Jem in his arms following close behind. The man was Boo, and he had saved Jem;s life who had just a broken arms and some cuts and bruises, and put an end to the life of the evil Mr. Ewell. The journey of Jem and Scout in the time period displayed is a true icon of the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”.
It is a story of empathy and unexpected friendship, while also including the historical events of the 1930s in America. Movie Project: WRITTEN RESPONSES 1. “To Kill a Mockingbird” takes place during the Great Depression. The main character’s family is considered “wealthy”, and they live in a moderate-sized house with one house maid. The “average” working class is the dirt-poor farmers who can barely make a living over unhealthy crops. Atticus explains to Scout in the beginning of the movies that the farmer Mr. Cunningham is paying him in crops in return for some legal work he had done for him in the past, because at the time, that was the only way Mr. Cunningham could afford to repay Atticus. The movie also takes place in a time of severe segregation and racism. Without the civil rights movements being introduced yet, blacks in America, especially the South, were helpless in the social world. The clearest instance of racism being displayed in the movie as a hint as to what the time period was would be the case that Atticus took on defending Tom Robinson.
In a racist community, Atticus was called crazy and a “negro-lover” for simply defending this black man in a court case that was accusing him of a crime that he did not commit. 2. The main historical event that was displayed in this movie was the Great Depression. Throughout the movie examples were shown expressing the excessive poverty in the town of Maycomb, and even all across the U. S. The living situations of the characters as well as their social rankings show what this historical event was like in real life.
Alabama was one of the better-known southern states in America known to display the most obvious forms of racism and segregation during the early and mid-1900s. With Maycomb being a town in Alabama, it made sense for the movie to show racism being pursued in this town. 3. I think that this movie did accurately portray history. By giving different points of view from different people in Maycomb of different social classes and background, it showed how the Great Depression affected (accurately) everyone, not just one group of people.
One may have thought that the conditions of the Cunninghams and Ewells were major extremities that were exaggerated in the story for entertainment’s sake, but these conditions that were shown were exactly how harsh it was to live in a farmer family during the Depression. This movie also portrays the history of racism in America in the 1930s excellently. It shows the differences in social class between whites and blacks by having Calpurnia in the storyline. The movie also shows how harsh and racist the court was back then just because of the color of one’s skin.