Characterization of Atticus Finch

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Characterization Interpretation of Atticus Finch
The characterization of Atticus finch is definitely more accurate in Malcolm Gladwell’s “The Courthouse Ring: Atticus Finch and the Limits of Southern Liberalism” than in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The way Harper Lee depicts Atticus makes him seem unrealistic, while Gladwell’s interpretation has more evidence behind it and seems more accurate. Gladwell’s interpretation of Atticus reveals the unrealistic world he lives in, the weakness in his court case, and his discriminating standards. These are some of the many reasons why Gladwell’s interpretation of Atticus Finch is more accurate.

The first reason Gladwell’s interpretation of Atticus Finch is more accurate than Lee’s version is the fact that throughout the story Atticus seems to be living in a fantasy world. During the scene where Atticus tells Scout about Walter Cunningham and the lynch mob, Gladwell points out that despite Walter’s “homicidal hatred for black people”, Atticus believes that he is just in a blind spot along with the rest of us. Atticus is trying to live in the fantasy that Walter is a good man, even though attempted to kill a man because of the color of his skin. In another scene Atticus tells Scout about the Ku Klux Klan just being a political organization that went away because of a person named Sam Levy making them ashamed of themselves (Lee). He does not want to deal with the existence of anti-Semitism, but wants to live in the fantasy of Mr. Levy giving them a good scolding and scaring them away (Gladwell).

Another reason Gladwell’s interpretation of Atticus Finch’s character is more accurate than Lee’s version is how Atticus weakly defends Tom Robinson in court. Atticus’s best defense for Tom was that he could not of hit Mayella Ewell because he only has a right arm and the bruises on Mayella’s face were on the right side of her face (Lee). This is not a strong point due to the fact that Tom could have easily struck...
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