Social Class: Her world is made up of insiders and outsiders. The Maycomb women in the missionary society, the poor whites of Old Sarum, the African Americans in Calpurnia's church, and others represent an intricate pattern of classes.
Race: This southern town is defined by its racial system which is governed by Jim Crow ethics (patterns that give whites an awareness of privilege and blacks an awareness of powerlessness.) Note the power of the whites to define blacks by naming, as well as the need Calpurnia has to express herself in terms other than the Maycomb whites. Blacks have an intense awareness of their double consciousness as W.E.B. Dubois said: "...The sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes of others, of measuring one's soul by the tape of a world that looks on in amused contempt and pity."
Teachers - be aware of what we are doing as we teach works like TKM; and be especially sensitive to the worlds we are entering into with our students in relationship to the world they live in as a present day reality , with all of its emotional and hot-button issues. The first world may appear to be the world of the novel - Scoutıs world in the 1930ıs - a world that exposes the problems of racial and class prejudice, social segregation based on race and economic status and power, social injustice and violence, all seen through the poignancy and clarity of a child's honesty and a child's eyes informed by an established moral center.
The second world is the world that our students live in and bring to the study of TKM. In their community and our society they are living with the same and largely unresolved powerful problems which are often immediate, sometimes deeply personal and always capable of producing anger and emotional responses as students express their feelings about them.
If we don't take time to prepare our classes by planning some trust-building activities in our classroom, we are setting ourselves and our students up to encounter problems that can make us back away from important works like TKM, denying the opportunity to build understanding and get at these issues that remain undiscussed and unresolved over many generations. Literature has always been the ideal vehicle for creating the "other world" where we can experience vicariously and thereby analyze and learn from the weaknesses and strengths of humans in their drama of life.