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How does Harper Lee use details in the passage to show the reader what Maycomb is like in Chapter 1?

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How does Harper Lee use details in the passage to show the reader what Maycomb is like in Chapter 1? In her description of the town in chaptee 1, Harper Lee makes gives Maycomb a very negative atmosphere. She repeats the adjective ?old? to emphasize how dull and unexciting it is. She personifies the town by saying it was ?tired?, giving it a slow, aimless feel. The long sentences are punctuated with lots of semicolons and commas; every time you think one of the sentences will end it carries on. The sentences reflect life at Maycomb, even though they are long and dwindling, they lead to no real conclusion. Moreover, the sentences contain lots of alliteration and sibilance, for example ?flicked flies?, and ?sagged on the square?. This technique possibly reflects daily life in Maycomb: repetitive and unsurprising, making the town, in the readers mind, a stereotypical southern town. Another way Lee accentuates the sluggish pace in this town is the verbs he uses when describing the people of Maycomb: the words ?ambled? and ?shuffled? emphasize the leisurely lives the people lead, and how well the town and the residents suit eachother, or maybe how mch they affect eachother. ...read more.


The fact hardly any other places are mentioned suggests that the town is isolated and this may be the reason for it. Jem says ?"Don't have any picture shows here, except Jesus ones in the courthouse sometimes,"?, showing the reader both that Maycomb is small and uncultured and also that is it very religious. Indeed, going to church was Maycombs ?principal recreation?, which could be an explantion of their avoidance of other cultures: they do not want to taint the towns strong, Christian atmosphere. The town only has one police officer, described as an ?ancient beedle?, showing the town is not unsafe of typically violent, however, nor is it prepared for anything other than the normal routine. The people of Maycomb do not like secrets or not knowing things; ?closed doors meant illness or cold weather only?, shows the reader it?s hard to hide in Maycomb. Overall, Maycomb is very set in its ways. On the other hand, when somebody, or a group of people, or even one event, does not conform to Maycombs strict conduct, it is neither readily accepted or forgotten. The Radleys are the subject of lots of gossip and scapegoating. ...read more.


In one part of the book there is obvious racism; when Arthur Radley is being punished ?the sheriff hadn't the heart to put him in jail alongside Negroes?, implying even figures whose job it is to be fair are racially biased. Lee creates the impression Maycomb is obviously a very bored town, which may be a result of the great Depression and its isolated position, but more likely it is because of the negative and lazy atmosphere and the attitude of the residents. The town holds tightly to religion and its ancient habits, things that are ?alien to Maycombs ways? are disliked. The town will not accept it is ignoring the rest of the world. The result of their boredom is gossip, and as they are with their lifestyle, they are stubborn with that too, ?unwilling to discard their initial suspicions?, showing the reader that the people of Maycomb can never be wrong or completely fulfilled. However Lee shows that they are blissfully unaware of anything they are missing; they respect tradition and will probably be born and die in Maycomb, never even slightly impacting on the intense, claustrophic town. However, this tight, controlled life may be what attracted people there, Atticus Finch ?liked Maycomb, he was Maycomb County born and bred; he knew his people, they knew him?. ...read more.

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