In 1960, Harper Lee?s To Kill a Mockingbird was first published. The book was published in the middle of the civil rights movement (Jones 53).
The novel has been admired by many since it was first written, and it is a story that deals with racism in the 1930s. Diane Telgen said the following about the novel, “Lee?s story of the events surrounding the trial has been admired for its portrayal of Southern Life during the 1930s, not only for its piercing examination of the causes and effects of racism, but because it created a model of tolerance and courage in the character of Atticus Finch” (Telgen 285), one of the main characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. Claudia Durst Johnson had the following to say about the novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird presents the argument that the forces that motivate society are not constant with the democratic ideals embedded in its legal system” (Johnson “The Secret Courts of Men?s Hearts” 129).
She is saying that the novel allows people to go against what is usually done and what is not perceived by the public to be necessarily right. The novel is also about how Atticus Finch raises his children Jem and Scout. They learn how to fight prejudice and dignity by watching their father, Atticus (Telgen 285).
They are raised properly because Atticus Finch is a gentleman in the way he acts to his family, and to the people of his community. He is not afraid to stand up for what is right, even if his opinion is opposed by the community he represents in the Alabama State Legislature (Telgen 290).
... his philosophies is ‘it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird’. This reflects his belief that all persons must ... to rid the county of this hazard is Atticus Finch. The county sheriff therefore summons Atticus, an expert marksman does it. Backed by ... precision, ‘One shot Finch’ shoots the infected animal and prevents it from infecting others. Atticus is a man well-driven ...
Atticus Finch is a man who is respected by almost every resident of Maycomb County, Alabama. Atticus character was inspired by Harper Lee?s father who happened to be a lawyer (Montgomery 1).
The Finch family was one of Maycomb county?s oldest families. Atticus is ” ? related by blood or marriage to nearly every member in the town??” (Matuz 243).
Atticus and his brother were also the first Finches allowed to “leave the family lands and study elsewhere.” Atticus?s name “suggests the enlightened values that he tries to uphold” (Anygal 2).
Atticus is also a widower who is trying to raise his children in a way he believes is proper. R. A. Dave had this to say about Atticus, “He is a widower but treats his motherless children with so much affection that they call him ?Atticus.?? He stands up like a lighthouse firm, noble, and magnanimous” (Matuz 247).
Atticus is also a fair lawyer that trusts his clients to pay him eventually, even if they cannot the moment his services are performed (Shuman 1).
” When Atticus renders legal services for Walter Cunningham, Sr., ?, he is repaid with goods such as firewood and nuts instead of cash.” Atticus finch is a man who has values of dignity, integrity, determination, and tolerance (Telgen 290).
Atticus has embedded many morals in his children; he has done this in many ways, and his method or raising children has not always been approved by his neighbors. One thing he has taught his children is to put themselves in other peoples? shoes. Atticus once had this to say to his daughter Scout, “?first of all,? he said, ?if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you?ll get along better with all kinds of folks. You never understand a person until you consider things from his point of view?until you climb into his skin and walk around in it?” (Lee 34).
Atticus allows his children to have fun, but he is also a disciplinarian. He is “always teaching his children to think how their actions affect others and devising punishments to teach his children valuable lessons” (Telgen 290).
One time Atticus insisted “that Jem read every afternoon to old Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose in atonement for his cutting the tops off her camellia bushes after she taunted him about his father?s being ?no better than the niggers and trash he works for.? But we soon learn with Scout that Atticus believed Jem would become aware of the real meaning of courage when he was forced to aid a dying old woman in breaking the narcotic habit she abhorred” (Matuz 250).
... left Finch's Landing, Alexandra, their sister, remained. Atticus practiced law in Maycomb, where he lived with his two children, Jem and Scout, and ... the cook, Calpurnia. Atticus' wife died when the children were young, and Scout hardly remembers her ... of the novel, he will prove to a be a good friend to both Jem and Scout.. ...
Atticus also wanted his children to see the good sides of people. After Mrs. Dubose?s death, Atticus told his children that she was “The bravest person he ever knew” (Telgen 294).
After Jem and Scout are saved by Arthur Radley, and Scout sees him and calls him “Boo,” Atticus gently corrects her and tells her to call him Mr. Arthur (Jones 61).
Atticus teaches his children at home in addition to the education they receive at school. Baird Shuman has this to say about their education, “The Finch children go to school, but that is not where they receive the bulk of their education. They learn from their father and from the society surrounding them the lessons they need to internalize to function one day as productive adults” (Shuman 2).
Pearlman had this to say about Atticus, “Atticus?teaches Jem and Scout that a person?s worth is measured by his character and not by his power of acquisition” (Pearlman 2).
Atticus likes to read to his children, but Scout?s teacher disapproves of this because Atticus?s ” ?unqualified? instruction would ?interfere? with her children” (Telgen 293).
Atticus Finch is a good father who is raising his children to be good, moral people. Even though Atticus may seem dull on the outside, the children find out that this just isn?t so, because he has real courage. Many people in Maycomb county believe that Atticus is very boring. In the beginning of the novel Jem and Scout believe that their Dad is the most boring man in town (Jones 53).
The locals believe that the only thing that Atticus does is read (Telgen 300).
Atticus once gave his children an air gun for Christmas and he put that gun to good use. Atticus told them that “it?s all right to shoot blue jays, but ?it?s a sin to kill a mockingbird?” (Telgen 294).
Atticus had to shoot a rabid dog with the air gun, and the neighbors told the children that “Atticus is the best shot in the county” (Telgen 287).
... live in a house. Caring for his children shows Atticus loves them. Jem and Scout will turn out to be good people because ... spending time with his children, Atticus shows that he loves them. Atticus also demonstrated his love for Jem and Scout by caring for them ... loves his children by spending time with them and by caring for them. Atticus demonstrated his love for Jem and Scout by spending ...
Atticus also teaches his children what the real meaning of courage is. He tells them that courage is ” ?when you know you?re licked before you begin, but you see it through no matter what?” (Telgen 290).
Scout thought her father was “the bravest man who ever lived” (Telgen 293).
Atticus Finch is a man who has courage and shows it to his family and community only when he needs to. When Atticus is given the hardest case he has ever tried to defend, he decides to do the best job he can, even though it may not be viewed well in the community. Steven Lubert had the following to say about Atticus defending Tom Robinson, “In the reconstructed Maycomb, AL of the 1930s, Atticus was willing to risk his social standing, professional reputation, and even his physical safety in order to defend a poor black laborer falsely accused of raping a white woman” (Lubert 1).
The town does not approve of Atticus defending Tom Robinson because he wants to do the best job he can (Telgen 290).
Atticus says that if he did not defend Tom Robinson that he could not go on with the rest of his life.
When Scout learns that Atticus was appointed to the Robinson case, she asks why he cannot refuse it he replies ?For a number or reasons. The main one is, if I didn?t I couldn?t hold up my head in this town.
I couldn?t represent this county in the legislature. I couldn?t even tell you and Jem not to do something again ? Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one?s mine I guess (Jones 57).
Atticus also tries to defend himself and his family from angry citizens who do not like it that Atticus is defending Tom Robinson. When Scout is harassed at school because her dad “defends Niggers,” he does not lie to her and tells her the truth. He also warns her that it might not end soon (Telgen 287).
Atticus once warned his children that ” ?[that a mob is always made up of people, no matter what]?” (Johnson “The Secret Courts of Men?s Hearts” 134).
Atticus does not approve of the Ewells because they are trash, and Scout never heard her father talk about people the way he did about the Ewells (Lubert 2).
... in. Likewise, Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird is appointed to defend a black man in the 1930s, and Atticus plans to actually defend him even ... in the constitutional theory that all men are created equal, Atticus does his best to defend a black man, and he gets into many ... though no jury would exonerate a black man of ...
“Atticus tells his children that any man who takes advantage of a black man is ?trash?” (Telgen 292).
Atticus decides to defend Mr. Robinson because he believes it is the right thing to do even if it may not be in his best interest to do so. At the Tom Robinson trial, Atticus did the best job he could in defending Tom, but even though he proved Tom innocent the jury was not ready to acquit a black man who was accused of raping a white woman. When Mayella Ewell is on the stand Atticus tries to get the truth out of her because he knows she is lying. He was however polite to Mayella even though he did not like her (Lubert 4).
Lubert also commented that “Atticus left no doubt that he intended to do his job. ?Miss Mayella,? he began his cross examination, ?I won?t try to scare you for a while, not yet?” (Lubert 4).
Scout, however, does not believe that her father is conducting himself properly during the cross examination (Althouse 1).
When Mayella refused to continue testifying, Atticus honored the request because this showed that she had something to hide, and by doing this he protected Bob Ewell (Althouse 3).
Atticus truly believes that Tom Robinson is innocent of the charges that he raped Mayella Ewell. This was very unusual in the Alabama of the 1930s because the word of a white woman was almost always to be trusted over the word of a black man (Lubert 11).
Atticus also gave a strong closing argument to the jury to prove that Tom is innocent. In his closing argument Atticus “charges the jury put aside prejudice and fulfill their duty as participants in a democratic style of government” (Matuz 240).
Atticus also pointed out that “the entire prosecution is based upon ?the assumption that all Negroes lie, and that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women?” (Matuz 292).
Atticus also stated that everyone is bound together by the same law (Matuz 244).
Atticus also tells the jury that, “what has happened between Mayella Ewell and Tom Robinson is a crime because it violates the rigid code and social structure of Maycomb” (Jones 59).
... . They can begin to gain respect from their fellow man. After Jim is killed, Tom takes up the cause of "his" people. He ... the novel, she sees the needs of her fellow man. Young Tom appears to be self-centered when he if first introduced ... plans to work with them. Just as Jim taught him, Tom realizes that man ...
Atticus concluded his closing argument to the jury by saying the following, ” A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review the evidence you have hear?.In the name of God, do your duty” (Lee 208).
Even though Atticus did not win the case, he thinks that he is successful in turning the prejudice tide in the town. No one had ever kept a jury out as long as Atticus did in this case, meaning that they were seriously contemplating whether Tom was guilty or not (Matuz 249).
Telgen believes that “the jury?s willingness to believe what Atticus calls ?the evil assumption?that all Negroes are basically immoral beings? leads them to convict an innocent man” (Telgen 293).
Atticus?s actions in the Tom Robinson case are not soon forgotten by the people of Maycomb. The black community of Maycomb is grateful for what Atticus did. “The black families of Maycomb sent Atticus gifts of food after the trial, though bitterness still lingered in the white community” (Anygal 2).
Atticus also tried to explain to his children that everything in life does not go the way it should. Many people were still upset at the way Atticus defended Tom Robinson. Bob Ewell threatened Atticus and even spit on him (Telgen 287-288).
When Bob Ewell attacked the Finch children, he was killed by his own knife by Arthur Radley (Matuz 249).
The action of Atticus Finch will not be soon forgotten by anyone in Maycomb white or black. “Mr. Underwood, the Maycomb Newspaper editor, ?linked Tom?s death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children?” (Johnson Understanding To Kill a Mockingbird 9).
Atticus Finch is a great man who has remained an American icon whom many would like to be like (Lubert 12).
Many people believe that Atticus is the ultimate person in To Kill a Mockingbird. Steven Lubert says that “Atticus can do no wrong?and that all of Maycomb puts their faith in him” (Lubert 2).Atkinsen says that, “Harper Lee has given us the gospel according to Atticus in the words of his chief disciple?.But we are the ones who have included her story in our cannon and who continue to work and worship Atticus?s golden image” (Atkinson 2).
... why it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.' ; Not only is Lee opposed to racism, but her primary ... novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, through the eyes of a fictional character called Jean Louise Finch, better known as ... by the Monroe County, Harper Lee's hometown. Scout's father, Atticus Finch, was a defense attorney during ... by the jury and was sentenced to death. Atticus's son, Jem, expresses his rejection to ...
Other people believe that Atticus is a great heroic person. In the novel, Miss Maudie Atkinson believes that Atticus made “Maycomb question itself in a way no one else could?” (Jones 60).
Claudia Johnson says that “Atticus?s saintliness has nothing to do with cowardice or importance. He is a savior capable of facing a mad dog, and a lynch mob. He is? ?[born to do our unpleasant jobs for us]?” (Johnson “The Secret Courts of Men?s Hearts” 133).
Many people also believe that Atticus is an excellent lawyer. Atticus tried to defend people within the bounds of the law (Lubert 1).
When Randolph Stone had to answer the question, if Atticus is ” a paragon of Honor or an especially slick hired gun?” He answered by saying the following, He accepted a difficult and unpopular case, saved his client from a lynch mob, and tried to do an effective job in court. Did he harbor raciest and sexist stereotypes? Yes, but for a fifty-ish white man of 1930s Alabama, he was probably ahead of the curve. Like most of us he was a work in progress (Stone 2).
Atticus Finch will continue to be an American Literary Hero for along time to come, because Harper Lee?s To Kill a Mockingbird will continue to make significant differences in the lives of individual, and the culture as a whole (Johnson To Kill a Mockingbird Threatening Boundaries 13).
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Vol. 60. Detroit:Gale, 1990. 239-250. Montgomery, Leigh. “Harper Lee Still Prizes Privacy Over Publicity.” Christian Science Moniter. 11 Sept. 1997. 18+. Pearlman, Michael. “The Role of Socioeconomic Status in Adolescent Literature.” Adolescense. Spring 1995. 223-231. Shuman, R. Baird. “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Masterplots. Electronic Database. Salem: 1997. Stone, Randolph N.. “Atticus Finch, in Contest.” Michigan Law Review. May 1999. 1378-1381. Telgen, Diane, ed. “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Novels For Students. Detroit: Gale, 1997. 285-307.