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To Kill a Mockingbird Annotations

Scout introduces some of her family heritage and gives details about the Finch’s settlement in Maycomb, Alabama. In so doing, she mentions General Andrew Jackson, who fought during the War of 1812 and makes a connection to her ancestor, Simon Finch. After Jackson’s victory in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, he forced the Creeks in agreement of the Treaty of Fort Jackson, granting their land to the United States. Jackson “running the Creeks up the creek” refers to the Indian Creek War in 1813, when the Creek tribe was frightened off from their territory by Jackson. As a result of this event, Simon Finch was able to “paddle up the Alabama” after the war and settle down in Maycomb. On the contrary, if they hadn’t been there, they would have still been in Mobile.

The Battle of Hastings was a one day battle fought between William of Normandy and Harold Godwinson in 1066. Scout references this Battle in discussing the early history of her family ancestry, but not with much to boast about. Having no recorded ancestors on either side of the battle shows that the Finch family weren’t similar to many families in the south. Similarly, this also indicates that most southern Americans in the 20th century were identified with pride in their ancestry and heritage.

“No money to buy with it” refers to the Great Depression, a period of massive economic issues. This event affected many people globally lasting from 1930 to the early 1940’s. As the rate of unemployment increased dramatically, prices, profit and personal income decreased. This quote describes the hardships that the affected the attitudes and daily lives of the people in the small town of Maycomb.

Miss Caroline offers Walter Cunningham, who she assumes had forgotten his lunch at home, just a quarter for lunch money, but he refuses to accept it. This quote is refers to the dramatic change in prices during the Great Depression. Due of the fact that most people had hardly any money, products back then were drastically cheaper than they are today. During the Great Depression, a dime bought a gallon of gas and a nickel costed a loaf of bread.

Scout attempts to explain to Miss Caroline that Walter is from a poor family background so he wouldn’t be able to pay her back. They had to cope and work with what little they had. The Cunninghams never accepted anything they couldn’t afford or pay back, not even church baskets or script stamps. Scirp stamps were paper currency or tokens issued for brief use in a emergency. They were used during the Great Depression due to the closing of banks and lack of physical currency.

The crash refers to Stock Market Crash of 1929, when stock prices started to plunge entirely and threw the United States into the Great Depression. This was a very hard time for people like the Cunninghams. They lost everything they had and had to make due with what they had. In addition, when poor people like the Cunningham desperately needed a lawyer, they paid with their produce instead of money. This determines that the hardest hit by the crash were usually people from rural and agricultural areas.

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