How is a sense of belonging conveyed in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although Maycomb is a sleepy little town with little to do, and it is filled with many citizens inflicted by "the ususal disease" (racism), it is a place where most of the people are happy to belong. Atticus has spent his whole life in Maycomb County, and he

... was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family in the town.

As the moral conscience of Maycomb, Atticus is, according to Miss Maudie, one of the

"... men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us...
     "We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us."

Dill is happiest when comes to stay summers with his Aunt Rachel, and he becomes fast friends with Jem and Scout. When he has problems at home, he runs away to Maycomb, where he feels most secure. Calpurnia, the Finch's black maid, is considered a member of the family, and Atticus vehemently defends her when his sister, Alexandra, tries to have her fired. Even when Alexandra comes to stay with Atticus,

     Maycomb welcomed her...
     When she settled in with us and life resumed its daily pace, Aunt Alexandra seemed as if she had always lived with us.

When Miss Maudie's house burns down, Miss Stephanie (with whom Maudie is often at odds) invites her to live in her home. Even Nathan Radley returns from his life in Pensacola to retain custody of brother Boo, and he settles in to Maycomb life in the usual Radley style.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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