Why did people in Maycomb start to look faintly alike?

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This is explained in the novel. It has a lot to do with the geographical position of Maycomb; it was originally built in a place which had no public transportation except river boat, and even the river boat was out of easy reach. Meanwhile, Maycomb was two days travel from...

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This is explained in the novel. It has a lot to do with the geographical position of Maycomb; it was originally built in a place which had no public transportation except river boat, and even the river boat was out of easy reach. Meanwhile, Maycomb was two days travel from the northern part of the county, so very few people would be inclined to make that journey for goods. The result of this was that the town of Maycomb didn't grow, and new people didn't come to settle there.

As a result, then—particularly because the Civil War left the whole area economically ruined, giving the people of Maycomb little opportunity to leave and thrive elsewhere—the town survived through intermarrying. Because no new families came to the town, the same families ended up marrying each other and procreating, which, over the course of several generations, would result in nearly everyone in Maycomb being related to everyone else. In a town of cousins, a family resemblance would of course spring up, barely a "ripple" caused by the entrance of the occasional newcomer into the rural gene-pool.

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There are two reasons the people in Maycomb start to look alike. In general terms, it was a small town in the south, people were farmers and mostly poor. Their clothes were often homemade or hand-me-downs. In effect, the point is that they all start to blend together.

More specifically, since many of the families never moved away, there were a lot of cases of certain families marrying into other families repeatedly. Over time, the result would be a natural blend of familial resemblance that would lead to exactly that: all the people starting to look faintly alike.

In rural areas during that time, it was not an unusual situation. As towns and cities grew, and modes of transportation become more readily available, there would be a lot more mobility. Therefore, less of the same families marrying.

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