In the second paragraph of the novel, Scout says that the events leading up to Jem’s broken arm started with the Ewells (another family in Maycomb), but Jem “said it started long before that.” How does Jem’s comment relate to the family history Scout provides over the next couple of pages, and what does that suggest about the influence of the past on who you are?
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When one grows up, the past is inherent in the people who spend time with us and the places they have gone and the places they will take us. Atticus moved to Maycomb as a young attorney; if he had not found a place he liked, he would not have stayed there and he would not have raised his family there. He would not have had the influence on the town that we later see in the story had he not learned the law and wanted to enforce justice in a liberal way.In everything we are, we are products of the past and our past never entirely goes away.