English Honours 11B
Miss Rachel MacNally
Character Analysis: Atticus
To Kill a Mockingbird was written by Harper Lee in 1960. It was a time in which African Americans lacked the same rights as white people. The novel is a social critique set somewhere in the 1930s. Atticus Finch is one of the major characters in the novel. He is the father of Jeremy “Jem” and Jean Louise “Scout”, he is also a lawyer in Maycomb County, Alabama. In a city reigned by social inequality and intolerance, Atticus represents justice and morality. Racism is one of the major themes in the book, since the story takes place in the 1930s. It is clear in the novel that African Americans lack the same opportunities and rights, and most of the white people treat them different, except for Atticus. Atticus tries to see things from others’ perspectives and treats everyone in the same way. Atticus is a man of principles and is constantly judged by other people for his tolerance towards African Americans calling him a “nigger-lover”. The fact is that Atticus is colorblind, so to speak. He does not care if they are white, black, red, yellow, purple, or blue, for him everyone is a human who has the same rights as everyone else. Social status is not something Atticus Finch worries about, he gives all the citizens in Maycomb the same treatment, hence earning the respect and mocks of the people living there. In chapter eleven, Atticus says “I do my best to love everybody.” (Lee 108) It is this sense of colorblindness that makes Judge Taylor appointed Tom Robinson’s rape case specifically to Atticus. Tom Robinson was an African American who was accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a seventeen-year old white girl. Perhaps even Judge Taylor knew that Tom Robinson was innocent, but it is important to recall that African Americans were always found guilty, even if the evidence pointed in a different way. Atticus believes in justice and the justice system, though he...
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