Setting of Maycomb
The setting of To Kill a Mockingbird, by Haper Lee, is set in in the 1930's in a small, fictional town in Alabama called Maycomb. Maycomb, located in Southern America, and is based on the name of Harper Lee's home town Monroeville. After the American Civil War the abolition of slavery had changed the legal postion of Blacks in American society. This freedom initially made Blacks' lives much harder. The Whites now saw the Blacks as potential competitors for jobs, particularly in the hard years of the Great Economic Depression during to which To Kill a Mockingbird is set. It is also said in the book that the town was so small that Atticus, a lawyer and a father of two, is related, by either blood or marriage, to most of the people living in the small town. Since the Cunningham's were farmers, the Great Depression hurt them the most. This is why they are very poor and they can only eat what they can catch.

set in the 1930's

To Kill a Mockingbird experiences all seasons of the year


Fictional town named Maycomb

Maycomb is its own little world that doesn’t know what’s happening elsewhere but they don't really care. Few people throughout the years move there nor few people leave. Most families that have lived in Maycomb have been around for generations, and family reputations have entered into the local traditions that have been going on for many years.

In the novel we find out about alot of the family history and the background of Maycomb by young Scout Finch, who is the narrator of the book. Scout, Jem and Dill share many of their stories about the Mystry Man (Boo Radely) who lives in the house nearby to the Finch Family. As the days go by the children find many mysterious presents in a small hole of an old tree at the Radley place, leading them to become even more facinated with the mysterious Boo Radely.

Background of Maycomb:
The County of Maycomb was divided into strict social classes. There were the black people (negros), living in their own section of Maycomb, the Ewells, which were a class unto themselves, and the middle class of Maycomb County. Because of the great differences in the classes, Tom Robinson never had a chance of being set free, since he is of a "lower" class in the eyes of most of Maycomb county's citizens as he is black in colour.

Map of Maycomb town

Educational Websites