how the setting contributed my understanding leading up to it climax
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The time period this novel is set in is supposed to be between roughly 1932 to 1935. Values and traditions in the Southern United States were pretty much set in stone. Although the civil war was long over, ideas of white racial superiority and slavery were still entrenched in southern culture. Still, Maycomb always had Atticus finch. I consider him one of the most progressive characters in modern fiction. Although the town does not share Atticus's views on social justice, I do believe that the Tom Robinson trial was a catalyst for change. Atticus made sure that the truth about Tom's innocence was obvious to everybody. Despite Atticus's best hopes, the jury did not do the right thing. Still, the truth remained. Although few talked about the travesty of justice that took place I think everybody understood how ugly it was. The fact that the Jury took so long to deliberate and that Mr. Cunningham himself, former leader of the lynch mob, refused to condemn Tom spoke volumes about changing values. The fact that Scout and Jem are, for the most, welcomed into a black church also speaks to changing attitudes. Again, we must look to the character of Atticus as the gentle teacher who convinced a town to look inward and question the sanctity of truth, justice and compassion.