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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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What are some quotes from To Kill a Mockingbird describing the jail, courthouse, and newspaper office?  

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The Maycomb County Courthouse: In Chapter 16, Scout describes Maycomb's courthouse as being "faintly reminiscent" of the one in Arlington, except that the concrete pillars supporting its south roof seemed to be too heavy compared to the rest of the building. The original courthouse was burned in 1856, and the only thing that remained were the pillars. Scout describes the courthouse, which stands in the center of the town square, by saying,

"...the Maycomb County courthouse was early Victorian, presenting an unoffensive vista when seen from the north. From the other side, however, Greek revival columns clashed with a big nineteenth-century clock tower housing a rusty unreliable instrument, a view indicating a people determined to preserve every physical scrap of the past" (Lee, 100)

The Maycomb County Jail: Scout describes the jailhouse as the most "venerable and hideous of the county buildings" (Lee, 93). Scout also mentions that Atticus said the Maycomb jailhouse resembled something Cousin Joshua might have designed. Scout goes on to describe the jailhouse by saying,

"Starkly out of place in a town of square-faced stores and steep-roofed houses, the Maycomb jailhouse was a miniature Gothic joke one cell wide and two cells high, complete with tiny battlements and flying buttresses" (Lee, 93).

The jailhouse had a red brick facade and thick steel bars on its windows. Scout also gives a description of where it is located in the town square. Scout says, "It stood on no lonely hill, but was wedged between Tyndal's Hardware Store and The Maycomb Tribune office" (Lee, 93).

The Maycomb Tribune Office: Mr. Underwood's apartment and office are located to the northwest of the courthouse, which stands in the middle of the town square. Mr. Underwood's living quarters and business is also catty-corner to the Maycomb jailhouse. In order for Mr. Underwood to cover the jailhouse and courthouse news, he simply had to look out of his upstairs window. Scout says,

"The office building was on the northwest corner of the square, and to reach it we had to pass the jail" (Lee, 93).

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THE MAYCOMB JAIL.  Probably the ugliest building in town, the Maycomb Jail is just wide enough for a single cell and stands just two stories high. It apparently looks somewhat like a little castle, with its "tiny battlements and flying buttresses." Scout describes it as a "miniature Gothic joke" and the "most venerable and hideous of the county's buildings." The jail is found on the courthouse square "between Tyndal's Hardware Store and The Maycomb Tribune office."


THE MAYCOMB COUNTY COURTHOUSE.  The courthouse dominates the downtown square, where it was rebuilt after burning in 1856. The Greek Revival columns still remain from the old building where it "clashed" with the newer Victorian architecture and the "rusty unreliable" clock tower.

THE MAYCOMB TRIBUNE OFFICE.  B. B. Underwood's newspaper office is on "the northwest corner of the square." It is two stories high, and Underwood lives upstairs, where he can usually be found at his office window with a jug of cherry wine close at hand.

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