Maycomb Tribune Assignment Help

Below are the locations of the requested places from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

THECOURTHOUSE.  The courthouse is the main building on the downtown sqare, with a porch and clock tower on the south side, and large columns facing the north.

TOMROBINSON'SHOUSE.  It is situated in the Quarters outside the town's southern limits on the public road that crossed in front of Bob Ewell's house.

MAYCOMBJAIL. The local jail is...

Below are the locations of the requested places from Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

THECOURTHOUSE.  The courthouse is the main building on the downtown sqare, with a porch and clock tower on the south side, and large columns facing the north.

TOMROBINSON'SHOUSE.  It is situated in the Quarters outside the town's southern limits on the public road that crossed in front of Bob Ewell's house.

MAYCOMBJAIL. The local jail is also located downtown on the square on "a lonely hill... wedged in between Tindall's Hardware Store and the MaycombTribune office."

THEDUMP.  It is situated directly in front of Bob Ewell's house, about 500 yards from the main Negro settlement.

THECHURCH.  The First Purchase AME Church, of which Calpurnia is a member, is in "the Quarters outside the southern town limits, across the old sawmill tracks."

THESHORTCUT FROM THE SCHOOL.  The school was just "around the corner and across the yard" from the Finch house.   

(Mike Marshall is commentary editor for Alabama Media Group, and served as executive editor of The Mobile Register from 1999 to 2013.) 

Journalism is almost as misbegotten as the Ewell clan, at least as it was practiced in mythical Maycomb, Ala., as imagined by Harper Lee.

"Mr. B.B. Underwood was at his most bitter," she writes in the voice of Scout in Chapter 25 of "To Kill a Mockingbird." Underwood, the editor and publisher of The Maycomb Tribune, wrote an editorial condemning the killing of Tom Robinson. But Scout quickly dismisses the effort: "If he wanted to make a fool of himself in his paper that was his business."

Underwood wrote the worst sort of editorial a newspaper can publish, one that condemns an injustice after the fact having abided the behavior that led up to it.

And the folks in Maycomb ignored his bleating.

Harper Lee does throw a couple of bones to hapless old Underwood. He helps to develop the novel's eventual title. In his editorial, "he likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of song birds by hunters and children, and Maycomb thought he was trying to write an editorial poetical enough to be reprinted in The Montgomery Advertiser."

In Chapter 15, Underwood protects Atticus from a mob with his double-barreled shotgun, thereby deferring the death of Tom Robinson for a time.

But right from the start in "To Kill a Mockingbird," we get a sense that Underwood's newspaper is not so much an instrument of goodness. From Chapter One: "Boo was sitting in the livingroom cutting some items from The Maycomb Tribune to paste in his scrapbook. His father entered the room. As Mr. Radley passed by, Boo drove the scissors into his parent's leg, pulled them out, wiped them on his pants, and resumed his activities."

In "To Kill a Mockingbird," the pen is not mightier than the kitchen knife or the scatter gun. And in 1960, when the book was published, racists just like Mr. Underwood still owned almost all of the printing presses in the South. It was a time of ignominy for the southern press, something we continue to atone for to this day.

And it's yet another reason why I wish Harper Lee had not stopped at one novel. What has she thought about The Mobile Register these last several decades?  How does she like her hometown Monroe Journal?

If she'd written another book, and if a newspaperman were among its characters, would we have fared any better?

AL.com's Red Clay Readers, in partnership with the Alabama Center for Literary Arts, is a book club designed to take a fresh look at a southern classic with the help of our readers. The first version of the club, which focuses on "To Kill a Mockingbird," will culminate with a panel discussion at the Alabama Writers Symposium in Monroeville on April 25. Click here to get 20 percent off your copy of the book at Books-a-Million.

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