To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee



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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Treatment of the mentally ill in the 1930s often included shock treatment, lobotomies, and sterilization. Mental asylums (hospitals for the mentally ill) were often places of horrific medical treatments and inhumane treatment.





  1. http://www.uvm.edu/~lkaelber/eugenics/AL/AL.html

“Eugenics: Compulsory Sterilization in 50 American States—Alabama”

Read these sections: The number of victims, Groups identified in the law, and Groups targeted.


  1. http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~asylums/bryce_al/index.html

“Bryce Hospital for the Insane: Tuscaloosa, Alabama”
What statement does this make about the “regular” treatment of the insane at this time?


  1. http://www.toddlertime.com/advocacy/hospitals/Asylum/history-asylum.htm

“The history of the treatment of mental illness.”
Read to gather information about the treatment of the insane in the times of the 1930s: lobotomies, ice baths, shock therapy, and the like.


  1. http://www.dualdiagnosis.org/mental-health-and-addiction/history/

Read “Innovative Therapies in the 1930s”

Watch the two “Relevant Videos”:

“History of Insane Asylums and Psychological Treatment”

“The History of Mental Illness”

*Reconsider the actions of Mr. Radley and Nathan Radley in dealing with or making decisions concerning Arthur. Why might they have made certain “seemingly cruel,”



but maybe “protective” decisions about Arthur?
*How might you apply Atticus’s saying about not really understanding a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them to both Mr. Radley and Nathan, as well as to Arthur?

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