To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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What is the function of relating the Finch family history at the outset of the novel in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird depicts the small-town depression-era south through the eyes of a six-year-old girl, Scout Finch. To give the reader the full flavor of this setting, Lee describes in some detail the how the Finch family came from England and settled in the United States. Then she traces her lineage down through her father, Atticus Finch. This family characterization helps the reader get to know the various Finch family characters.

The family patriarch, at least their American patriarch, is Simon Finch, the first Finch to come to America. In the following passage, the narrator, Scout Finch tells the reader how Simon became established in the South. Note the satirical tone of her...

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