Why does Papa want to move to town in the book Where the Red Fern Grows?

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The root of Papa's character is wanting what's best for his family. As a first-generation farmer, he is constantly preoccupied with intensely difficult work that doesn't yield as much money as it should. Billy indirectly inherits much of his work ethic from his father. Papa does all of this because...

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The root of Papa's character is wanting what's best for his family. As a first-generation farmer, he is constantly preoccupied with intensely difficult work that doesn't yield as much money as it should. Billy indirectly inherits much of his work ethic from his father. Papa does all of this because he wants his children to have the best and most promising futures possible.

To this end, he thinks it is imperative that they move to town so that Billy and his sisters can get a proper education. He says that he doesn't want them to grow up without seeing the inside of a schoolhouse or having other, more novel experiences, such as "knowing what a bottle of soda pop is." In short, Papa doesn't want his children to spend all of their formative years in the back country of Oklahoma.

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Papa and Mama want to move to town because they feel it is a better place to raise a family.  They especially want their children to be able to get a formal education, something that is not available out in the backwoods areas of Oklahoma during the years of the Great Depression.  Papa explains his and Mama's plans to Billy after Billy travels twenty miles to town on his own to fetch the pups he has ordered.  Billy has had some bad experiences with the people in town, and has just expressed the desire never to have to live there.  Papa says,

"Some day you may have to live in town.  Your mother and I don't intend to live in these hills all our lives.  It's no place to raise a family.  A man's children should have an education.  They should get out and see the world and meet people...there's more to an education than just reading and writing...much more" (Chapter 6).

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