How Does Harper Lee Describe Maycomb in the Rest of the First Chapter? Essay

357 WordsSep 15, 20132 Pages
Harper Lee describes aspects of Maycomb throughout the rest of the first chapter. She continues with her premise of Maycomb being humdrum and dull emphasising the extent of how tight-knit the community is. This is enforced in many instances, such as when Scout is describing Atticus in one of the narrative parts of the story. She uses the sentence “Atticus was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family in the town” which accentuates the fact that the community is very close and that their society is more influential on each other as opposed to other counties and cities. Leading on from the previous point, Lee also conveys that the fact that the community is so succinct can lead to suspicions and creation of rumours among people if you don’t abide by the unspoken rules that they live by. This is portrayed when Scout, in a narrative paragraph, says “in the house lived a malevolent phantom,”. The unnerving presence of the Radley’s seem to affect everyone. This is accentuated when Calpurnia, uncharacteristically, speaks about Mr Radley by murmuring “There goes the meanest man that God ever blew breath into”; this is surprising because “Calpurnia rarely commented on the ways of white people” and shows that everyone is silently judging the Radley’s for not being social. This is again shown in the descriptions of the Radley house. Scout describes it as having “Rain-rotted shingles” and “a ‘swept’ yard that was never swept”. The use of Lee’s negative vocabulary such as “rotted” show that the Radley abode was not seen as very highly through the community’s perspective. The community of Maycomb is also portrayed as being very benign and safe. This is conveyed when Lee describes a group of three boys as being “the nearest thing to a gang ever seen in Maycomb,” and even their petty ‘crimes’ such as “using abusive and profane language in the presence and hearing of a

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