May 10, 2010
Edmund Burke discusses how Atticus triumphs and is victorious but has to suffer through hardships and abuse in order to stand up for what is right. This quotation expresses Atticus’ role in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. The novel is set in Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930s which helps to establish the economic hard times and racism. Atticus Finch takes on the case of Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping Mayella Ewell. The community is divided and the majority of the people do not agree with his decision. Atticus stands for justice. In order for him to pursue justice, he has to receive the multitudes of abuse. Every move Atticus makes, his children and community realize the full weight of these decisions. Atticus’ decision to defend Tom Robinson has an effect on his children, his community, and himself.
Atticus’s decision to defend Tom Robinson has a direct effect on his children. The public is critical of Atticus, and the treatment of his children reflects that. Jem and Scout are called names and criticized by not only their peers but also their neighbors. They electively subject themselves to the trial which places them in a complicated situation. Jem believes throughout the trial that Atticus is going to win which shows Jem’s first-hand experience with injustice. All evidence points to the fact that Tom is innocent yet, Tom is found guilty based on the jury’s decision. It is not the facts but the fact that Tom is black that changes the truth into Mayella’s lie. As a result, Jem’s view of the world suddenly changes. “It’s like bein’ a caterpillar in a cocoon…Like somethin’ asleep wrapped up in a warm place. I always thought Maycomb folks were the best folks in the world, least that’s what they seemed like” (Lee 215). At one time he thinks that all people in Maycomb County are faultless. After seeing the discrimination and racism, he sees the prejudice and the hate and this is when he changes. This quotation...
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