What do we learn about Maycomb, Atticus Finch and his family in Chapter one of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

"Maycomb was a tired old town then."

This chapter paints a picture of Maycomb to help us imagine the 30s during the Depression. People moved slow, the heat of the era brought grew beads of sweat to their brows, women walked around in great dresses and men who weren't working did the same. Lee references FDR's "nothing to fear but fear itself."

Atticus is painted as a professional. We learn that he put his own brother through medical school, and that their family has great history in Alabama. An attorney by trade, he treats his children with "courteous detachment."  Scout refers to him by his first name. We learn his wife died and was 15 years younger than him. He is now raising his two children, Jem (10) and Scout (almost 6) with the help of their nanny, Calpurnia.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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