What can we conclude about Maycomb in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We can say many things about Maycomb, but I would say that one point that rings true is that Maycomb does not change. We should expect this, because in chapter one Scout says that nothing happens, nothing changes, and there is nowhere to go. 

A day was twenty-four hours long but seemed longer. There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with, nothing to see outside the boundaries of Maycomb County.

By the end of the book, Scout's observation is confirmed. Even after the trial of Tom Robinson, nothing really changed. The people are still racist. They are still blind as ever, and there is no desire to change. 

Here is a vignette. Mrs. Merriweather is a religious hypocrite. She cares for the blacks in Africa but she is blind to the injustices in Maycomb. Moreover, she actually believes that Maycomb is a great Christian community. She cannot see the evils of Maycomb in convicting an innocent man. The point is that nothing changed. Here are the words of Mrs. Merriweather. 

When Mrs. Merriweather shook her head, her black curls jiggled. “Jean Louise,” she said, “you are a fortunate girl. You live in a Christian home with Christian folks in a Christian town. Out there in J. Grimes Everett’s land there’s nothing but sin and squalor.”

In conclusion, if change is going to take place in Maycomb, it will take a lot of time. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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