In Chapter 1 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what is the narrow span of interest (and almost no interest) in the world outside of Maycomb?With a quotation!

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Finch family does not travel often since Jem and Scout have not seen much (if any) of the world outside Maycomb County. Atticus visits Montgomery regularly to attend to his legislative duties, and the family celebrates Christmas at Finch's Landing each year, but there is no mention of any other trips taken by the family during the entire novel. Apparently, the rest of Maycomb follows suit. The residents seem to have little interest about what goes on outside Maycomb, preferring to read about the news of the world in the newspaper or hearing about it on the radio. The Great Depression was a primary cause, since the financial hardships of travel extended to nearly everyone.

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. But it was a time of vague optimism for some of the people: Maycomb County had recently been told that it had nothing to fear but fear itself.

Why Scout believes there is "nothing to see outside... Maycomb County" is a mystery, but she does come to understand that there is a world beyond their little town when Dill comes to visit. He becomes their source of information of the outside world, travelling yearly between the big city of Meridian, Mississippi: He has been to the movie theatre, ridden the train, and seen Siamese twins in Bay St. Louis. As for the rest of Maycomb's townspeople, their mistrust of outsiders probably contribute to their desire to remain insulated in their little world in rural southern Alabama.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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