To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What is the function of relating the Finch family history at the outset of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers info

litteacher8 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2008

write15,968 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In this book, the setting is just as important as any of the characters.  By relating the Finch family history, Scout gives us a clear picture of the customs and mindsets of Maycomb, Alabama.

The first chapter of the book is unique in that it describes a serious event (Jem breaking his arm), and then goes on to describe the entire family history of the Finches.  One of the things we learn as we read the book is that family history means everything to some people in Maycomb.  It is that deep-seated sense of tradition that makes it so hard to overcome prejudice.

When an older Jem and Scout look back...

(The entire section contains 326 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial