Reconstructing Atticus Finch

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Lubet, Steven. "Reconstructing Atticus Finch." Michigan Law Review 97.6 (May 1999): 1339-1362. Rpt. in Contemporary Literary Criticism. Ed. Jeffrey W. Hunter. Vol. 194. Detroit: Gale, 2005. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 30 Nov. 2010

In this article, Lubet questions the role of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird. His article provides many different sections and ways to analyze Atticus’ character.
Atticus Finch was a good and noble man who stood up for what he believed. He was willing to risk his reputation and social standing in Maycomb, Alabama to defend a black man who was falsely accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell. This article shows the possibilities that Atticus was either right or wrong in his case.

To Kill a Mockingbird has three narratives of Atticus’s story. Scout, his younger daughter, and Tom Robinson tell two of the stories and Mayella, the accuser, tells the third story.
In Scout’s story, Lubet explains that Scout is the only knowledgeable source in the whole town of Maycomb. Lubet characterizes Scout’s story as “a love story pure and simple.” Scout puts her father over everything by saying that he can do no wrong. “All his choices are brave and noble” (n.pg). From Scout’s perspective, Mayella and her father are lying about the rape and that Mayella is lying out of shame. She also shares with the reader that Atticus claimed them to be “white trash” (qtd. in Lubet).

In Tom Robinson’s story, he was innocent of committing the crime. Everyday to and from work, Tom would have to pass by the Ewell house. Sometimes Mayella would stop Tom and ask him to help her with some chores in her house. Once he had completed what he had requested of him, he began to leave and that’s when Mayella grabbed him and then “sorta jumped” on him. In the meantime, Mr. Ewell walked into the room screaming and Tom fleeted out. Never once during the trial did Tom say that Mayella was lying; however, she was “mistaken in her mind” (qtd. in...
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