To Kill a Mockingbird

How does Jem's comment relate to the family history Scout provides over the next couple of pages? What is Harper Lee suggesting about the influence of the past on the events that take place in the novel?

In To Kill A Mockingbird Scout says that the events leading up to Jem's broken arm started with the Ewells, but Jem "said it started long before that."

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We learn about all the plot points leading up to Jem's broken arm. We learn that the Ewell's were only a piece of the story that lead up to the broken arm. Racism, small towns, family histories....all had a part.