What are the advantages and disadvantages of living in a small town like To Kill a Mockingbird's Maycomb?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Jem and Scout seem to be perfectly contented in little Maycomb, and they have apparently never traveled anywhere before. Scout seems to believe that there is

... nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.

The children revel in the stories Dill has to tell about his travels between Meridian, Mississippi and Maycomb; about taking the train alone to Maycomb Junction; and about all of the picture shows he has seen. But even Dill seems to prefer life in Maycomb, where he has earned the friendship of Jem and Scout that he is lacking in his home town. Jem and Scout know just about everyone in town, and

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

Although Maycomb has no movie theatre, Jem and Scout are perfectly happy acting out their Radley Game on the sidewalk outside their house; playing in their backyard treehouse provided by Atticus; walking to and from their favorite swimming hole at Barker's Eddy; and enjoying the free run of Miss Maudie's yard.

Maycomb's distant location from other areas prevents its residents from travelling far, but most of them don't seem to care, since there is

... nowhere to go, nothing to buy, and no money to buy it with.

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