Social condition of Southern America in the 1930s as reflected in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960)


  • Ahmad Jaelani Asha English Language Studies, Postgraduate Program, Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia
  • Fathu Rahman English Department Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia
  • M Amir P English Department Faculty of Cultural Sciences, Hasanuddin University, Makassar, Indonesia


Southern America, great depression, racism, genetic structuralism, to kill a mockingbird, harper lee


Background: To Kill a Mockingbird, written by Harper Lee, tells the story of a girl named Scout Finch who lives with her father Atticus Finch, and a brother named Jeremy Finch. The novel was published in 1960. The story is set in Alabama in the 1930s, the year of the Great Depression. African-Americans were also considered inferior to whites. This leads to racial discrimination where African-Americans are always restricted by unjust laws. Even though slavery ended in the spring of 1865, racial discrimination was not eradicated eventually.

Methods: The animals were As this research aims to elaborate on the social condition of Southern America in the 1930s as reflected in Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird (1960). Therefore, this study uses a qualitative method with the appliance of genetic structuralism by Lucien Goldmann to obtain the information which can be found in the novel. Genetic structuralism is a combination of intrinsic elements (in the novel) and extrinsic elements (reality). Based on genetic structuralism, the literary work is a significant structure (Goldmann, 1981). Genetic structuralism attempts to find structure in the novel and structure in society. The data was collected from the novel written by Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird (1960). The data had been framed from the point of contention by identifying certain events and narratives considered to be the depiction of the social condition of Southern America in the 1930s in the novel.

Results: The results showed the social condition is influenced by Great Depression in the 1930s. Furthermore, it is also affected by the ancient belief inherent in society that black people are slaves and have the lowest rank.

Conclusion: This study shows that White prejudices control their actions and persecute them to harm blacks. Most people judge something based on physical performance. White people believe that darkness is synonymous with evil and mischief.


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How to Cite

Asha, A. J., Rahman, F. R., & P, M. A. (2022). Social condition of Southern America in the 1930s as reflected in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird (1960). Journal of Advanced Education and Sciences, 2(2), 04–08. Retrieved from