Where is To Kill a Mockingbird set? Describe the area.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, is set in the mythical town of Maycomb, Alabama during the years 1933-1935, at the height of the Great Depression. Lee did use her own hometown of Monroeville, Alabama as the basis for Maycomb, however. Maycomb is a small conservative town with plenty of churches but no movie theatre. It is located in southern Alabama, near the Alabama River, and the county seat of Maycomb County. It is situated "twenty miles east of Finch's Landing," which was the first settlement in the area, founded by Scout's ancestor, Simon Finch, some time before the Civil War. Scout describes Maycomb as

     ... an old town, but it was a tired old town when I knew it.
     People moved slowly then...

The streets are unpaved, and the days are hot in the summer. Scout lives on "the main residential street in town," not far from the courthouse square, where most of the town's businesses are located. The Negro citizens of Maycomb live in an area known as the Quarters, just outside the southern city limits. Old Sarum is another area, mostly populated by poor farmers, in the northern part of the county.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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