Jim Crow Guide1. A Black male could not offer his hand (to shake hands) with a White male because itimplied being socially equal. Obviously, a Black male could not offer his hand or any otherpart of his body to a White woman, because he risked being accused of rape.· 2. Blacks and Whites were not supposed to eat together. If they did eat together, Whiteswere to be served first, and some sort of partition was to be placed between them.·3. Under no circumstance was a Black male to offer to light the cigarette of a Whitefemale -- that gesture implied intimacy.· 4. Blacks were not allowed to show public affection toward one another in public,especially kissing, because it offended Whites.·5. Blacks were introduced to Whites, never Whites to Blacks.·6. Whites did not use courtesy titles of respect when referring to Blacks, for example,Mr., Mrs., Miss., Sir, or Maam. Instead, Blacks were called by their first names or by “boy”or “girl” (regardless of age). Blacks had to use courtesy titles when referring to Whites,and were not allowed to call them by their first names.· 7. If a Black person rode in a car driven by a White person, the Black person sat in theback seat, or the back of a truck.·8. White motorists had the right-of-way at all intersections.
The Great Depression (1930s)• hit the Southespecially hard• poverty• Americans turnedaway from the rest ofthe world and awayfrom each other• More tensionbetween races
• Businesses failed,factories closed– People were out of work– Even people with moneysuffered because nothingwas being produced forsale.– Lots of people spent theirmoney during the RoaringTwenties and had nosavings• Poor people lost theirhomes, were forced to“live off the land.”
Gender Bias (Prejudice againstwomen)• Women - “weak”• not educated foroccupations outside thehome• Men not consideredcapable of nurturingchildren
“White trash”• Poor, uneducated white people who lived on“relief “– lowest social class, even below the poor blacks– prejudiced against black people– felt the need to “put down” blacks in order toelevate themselves
Legal Issues of the 1930’s• Juries were MALEand WHITE• “Fair trial” did notinclude acceptanceof a black man’sword against awhite man’s
Setting• Maycomb, Alabama(fictional city)• 1933-1935• Although slavery haslong been abolished,the Southerners inMaycomb continue tobelieve in whitesupremacy.
Themes• Prejudice (racial, social,religion, handicapped, gender,age)• Social Snobbery• Morality• Tolerance• Patience• Equality• The Need for Compassion• The Need for Conscience
Symbolism• The Mockingbird: Symbolizes EverythingThat is Good and Harmless in This World–The mockingbird only sings to please othersand therefore it is considered a sin to shoota mockingbird. They are consideredharmless creatures who give joy with theirsong.–Two characters in the novel symbolize themockingbird: Tom Robinson & Boo Radley.
Jean Louis Finch – “Scout”• narrator• looks back at herchildhood• six when the storybegins.• She is naturally curiousabout life.
Scout’s Character Traits• Tomboy• Impulsive• Emotional• Warm & friendly• Sensitive• Adorable• Gains in maturity throughout the novel
Atticus Finch• Father of Scout and Jem• A widower• An attorney by profession• Highly respected• Good citizen• good values and morals• His children call him “Atticus”• Honest• Typical southern gentleman• Brave• Courteous• Soft-spoken
Jem FinchScout’s older brotherLooks up to his father AtticusUsually looks out for ScoutTypical older brother at timesSmartCompassionateMatures as the story progresses
Calpurnia• The Finch’s blackhousekeeper• Has watched the childrensince their mother’s death• Has been a positiveinfluence on the children.
Arthur “Boo” Radley• An enigma• An adult man, whose father has “sentenced” him toa lifetime confinement to their house because ofsome mischief he got into when he was a teenager.• Has a reputation of being a lunatic• Basically a harmless, well-meaning person• Sometimes childlike in behavior• Starving for love and affection
Tom Robinson• A young, harmless,innocent, hardworkingblack man• Has a crippled left hand• Married with threechildren. Works on a farmbelonging to Mr. LinkDeas, a white man• Will be falsely accused ofraping a white girl,Mayella Ewell
Dill• A close friend of Jemand Scout• Usually lives inMaycomb only duringthe summer (stays witha relative)• Tells “big stories”• Has been deprived oflove and affection
Two Poor White Families:The Cunninghams The Ewells• Poor white family• Hard-working• Honest• Proud• Survive on very little• Always pay back theirdebts – even if it is withhickory nuts, turnips, orholly.• Poor white trash• Dirty• Lazy• Good-for-nothing• Never done a day’swork• Foul-mouthed• Dishonest• Immoral
The Black Community• Simple• Honest• Clean• Hard-working• God fearing• Proud• Would never take anythingwith paying it back• Respectful• Had stronger character thanmost of the whites• Oppressed• Uneducated• Discriminated against• Talked about badly• Deserve better than what isdished out to them bysociety
Language• Various derogatory terms forblacks will be used such as“nigger,” “darky,” “Negroes,” and“colored folk” – Lee uses suchlanguage to keep her novelnaturally in sync with commonlanguage of the times