Atticus-To Kill A Mocking Bird Essay, Research Paper
Atticus is the town’s most respected lawyer. He is not wealthy, but he is well off in the community and kind towards everyone. He has been assigned a case of defending a black man accused of rape. Now he is both revered and reviled by the townspeople. After all, they do live in the south in the early 1930’s. Atticus gives a lot of advice to his kids. He tells them that they cannot judge people until they “climb into their skin and walk around in it”.
Atticus is a prominent character throughout the novel. As a single parent, he faces the world, raising his two children with his maid, Calpurnia, (who experiences better conditions and responsibilities than other African Americans of her time, due to Atticus’ beliefs). He has a reputation for being an open-minded, fair man, overflowing with integrity. It is also learned that he is self-educated, and tries to indoctrinate his children to love education and literature as much as he does. The relationship he holds with his children should also be noted. Even though he is incredibly busy Atticus always seems to find time for Scout and Jem. He comforts them in their time of need, compromises, but always puts them back in their place, if they get out of hand.
One conflict in the story tells us how it deals with the prejudices, and values that the society holds. The individual that poses a different view than the society, is discriminated against, for not “flowing with the norm”.
Atticus was truly a brave man, although on the outside he appeared to be a pacifist. He often encouraged his children to avoid conflict (Mrs. Dubose is one example). When Atticus killed the rabid dog, his children gained a totally different view of him. The whole town had revealed to them the secret of their father, that he was an excellent marksman and a brave man. Scout and Jem saw the Atticus that was once brave and daring. Thus, they became proud to model themselves after their own father, once shunning him.
Mob mentality is when a whole group of people, in this case, the people of Maycomb County, is caught in one specific mind set, for or against something. The mob mentality of the town allowed the residents to believe that Tom Robinson was guilty, despite Atticus’ excellent defense of Robinson in court. The town’s mentality would never allow them to set a black man free, so they were prejudiced against Tom Robinson from the start. Tom Robinson had one arm, was a decent man, and never raped Mayella Ewell, which would have been sufficient proof to set any other man free. Since Tom Robinson was a black man, and since the town was prejudiced against him, the jury ignored all the evidence on convicted Tom solely because he was a black man.
Don’t attack something if it hasn’t harmed you
This lesson is taught to Jem and Scout by Atticus when he teaches them about the mockingbird. He says that the mockingbird is innocent and only sings for you. It is therefore wrong to kill it.
Atticus,One might say he is an adult and therefore mature. This is a very irrational statement because there are many adults that have no hint of maturity. His view is very enlightened for a white southern man in the thirties.