Protection of the Innocence
The most important responsibility people have is to protect the innocent regardless of the situation. In the world as we know it the strong prosper and the weak suffer, but what about the innocent? Who provides, cares, and protects them? It’s not only a responsibility but a moral and ethical obligation.
Harper Lee’s book To Kill a Mockingbird is significant because it gives many examples of individuals protecting the innocent. Jem, Scout, Tom Robinson, and Boo Radley are characters in the book that are examples of “innocents” who were in need of protection. In this story, the mockingbird is symbolic of the innocents. All of these characters in some way are like mockingbirds. For the purpose of this essay, I’ve chosen the two most symbolic characters Tom Robinson and Boo Radley.
The book’s most obvious example of an innocent in need of protection is Tom Robinson. As an uneducated black man in the south during the 1930’s, he is left vulnerable to racism and prejudice by not just individuals but also within the court system. Tom’s protection comes from Atticus Finch, the town’s most prestigious lawyer, who agrees to defend him against the false charge of raping a white girl and the predictable racist outcome. Some supportive quotes are when Atticus asks the jury to put aside their prejudices, follow the obvious evidence and acquit the innocent Tom Robinson. Atticus says, “But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal – there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court […] our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.” He sums it up by stating, “I’m no idealist to believe firmly in the integrity of our courts and in the jury...
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