What are some essential family values and family history that have shaped the people in To Kill a Mockingbird's community?
Set in the South during the 1930s, it is the great depression. Poverty is the main subject. The people in the town use poverty as a kind of separation. Prejudice of every kind runs through the town. Many stories have already occurred before the novel even starts. The reader learns about Boo Radley, who is the "town freak". Only hearsay stories about Boo are passed around, what people tell each other and their children to warn them of evil that might occur. One story that is told is regarding an incident with Radley's father, who is stabbed with a pair of scissors, while Boo is under the influence of the "wrong group of friends". Mrs. Dubose is known as an annoying old lady, who always screams insulting remarks at the children. One day, Jem gets upset and destroys every flower in her garden. As a punishment he is required, by his father to read to Mrs. Dubose everyday.
The family values that the reader learns early in the novel are: after hurting someone, you must make amends. Also, readers learn that the children must listen to their elders. These lessons are well established as values from the beginning of the novel.