How is the theme of family life presented in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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The theme of family is explored through Scout's attempt to understand the social caste system of Maycomb, Alexandra's affinity for heredity, and the interactions between characters hailing from different families. Aunt Alexandra expresses her belief that the longer a family has inhabited a plot of land, the "finer" it is. Alexandra also believes that certain "streaks" in families are passed down from one generation to the next. Scout comments on her aunt's belief by saying,

"Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed, had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak" (Lee, 131).

Despite her aunt's beliefs concerning families and their character traits, Scout forms her own opinions of what makes a family respectable from observing her father and having discussions with Jem. During a conversation with her brother, Jem describes Maycomb's caste system by saying,

"There’s four kinds of folks in the world. There’s the ordinary kind like us and the neighbors, there’s the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 609 words.)

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