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How can I briefly describe the town of Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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dominicarriola | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 18, 2013 at 11:29 PM via web

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How can I briefly describe the town of Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 31, 2013 at 9:59 PM (Answer #1)

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Maycomb is a small, poor town steeped in traditional Southern values.

The story takes place in the deep South in Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression.  At that time, there was “nothing to buy and no money to buy it with.”  Scout says that people moved more slowly then, because there was nowhere to go.

Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop; grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. (ch 1)

She goes on to describe how the town has one main residential street, where the Finches live.  There is also a school with two buildings (grammar-school and high school) behind their street, and on the outskirts of town there is a dump with a settlement of poor whites (the Ewells) and blacks.

Everyone in Maycomb cares about what people think.  Atticus says everyone in the town is a friend and neighbor.  It is a small town where everyone knows everyone else, and the people are very set in their ways.  Unfortunately, this includes a great deal of prejudice toward blacks, the poor, and anyone who is different.

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