1930's TKAM Research Project

ALLUSIONS by Lilly Nguyen

What is an allusion?

Allusions are a hint or reference to something historical or biblical. According to the direction worksheet, an allusion is (and I quote) " a reference to a well-known person, place, event, literary work, or work of art."In this presentation I will show you allusions I found in TKAM and the effect that it gives to the town of Maycomb, to the reader, and the people in Maycomb.

Allusion # 1 NRA- We do our part

"Firstly, people had removed from their store windows and automobiles the stickers that said NRA- WE DO OUR PART. I asked Atticus why, and he said it was because the National Recovery Act was dead. I asked who killed it: he said nine old men." (pg,336, Lee)

The National Recovery Act was when President Roosevelt got federal agencies that made up his New Deal Program. It was created to help America heal or recover from the Great Depression. The significance of this allusion is that it was a very popular movement in the 1930's.

Harper Lee chose to use this allusion because it helps describe the time period. The information communicated was that the time period was just after the Great Depression.

This allusion helps the reader connect an actual movement to a character :the NRA might have helped the Cunninghams which Atticus said the crash hit them the hardest.


Allusion #2 Fountain Pen

"He unscrewed the fountain-pen cap and placed it gently on his table. He shook the pen a little, then handed it with the envelope to the witness." ( pg. 237, Lee)

A fountain pen is a nib pen that has a cartridge with liquid ink inside. The significance of this allusion is that Atticus used it during the court case. During the 1930's, fountain pens were less expensive than ballpoint pens. Maybe this is showing that Atticus was not the richest man in the world.

I think Harper Lee chose to use this allusion to show some of the technological advancements during the 1930's. The information communicated through this allusion is that fountain pens were a common writing instrument in the 1930's. The quote from the book informs us that you had to shake the fountain pen a little before you wrote with it.

The affect of this allusion on the reader is that Atticus is pretty sophisticated since he just carries a fountain pen around. It also informs the reader that fountain pens were common in the 1930's.

Allusion # 3 jitney jungle

"And where are you going, Stephanie?" inquired Miss Maudie.

"To the Jitney Jungle."

Miss Maudie said she'd never seen Miss Stephanie go to the Jitney Jungle in a hat in her life. (pg. 213, Lee)

The Jitney Jungle is basically one of the first modern supermarket chains. Supermarkets were pretty new to America in the 1930's and people used to shop at smaller grocery stores.

Harper Lee chose this allusion because she wanted to inform us that then Jitney Jungle was like the common grocery store in the 1930's. The information communicated in this allusion is that people didn't get dressed up to go to the grocery store because Miss Maudie said she never saw Miss Stephanie wear a hat to the grocery store.

The effect of this allusion on the reader is that it was a common place in the 1930's. This is because Miss Stephanie pretended that she was going to the Jitney Jungle when she was really going to watch the court case. She had to choose a common place to tell people where she was going instead of the court room so that people would believe her. Miss Maudie probably went to the Jitney Jungle often, so when she told this lie, people would believe her.