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Atticus Finch: Killing Two Mockingbirds With One Stone

2111 words - 8 pages

A tragic story, yet an epic journey; Atticus Finch’s paradoxical story of discrimination and ethical choices unfolds through a case of alleged rape. Atticus, a widowed father of two and a distinguished lawyer, attempts to restore peace and justice in Maycomb, Alabama. Characterized by notable compassion and integrity, he arduously defends Tom Robinson, a black man accused of the rape of a young, white woman. Alongside Atticus, Robinson struggles through the hardships of the prejudice of living the life as a minority. Through the hope and curiosity of Atticus’ children, Jem and Scout, as well as the presence of Boo Radley, a social pariah because of his intriguing past, Atticus overcomes various trials. In addition to a devoted citizen, a father and a lawyer, he encounters many hardships as he tries to piece together a case that creates a riot through a calm and orderly Maycomb. Harper Lee, the author of To Kill a Mockingbird, depicts Atticus Finch’s strength, courage and determination as the characteristics of a well-portrayed epic hero, as well as through his tragic flaw, excessive trust in his peers, throughout the novel.
Atticus tries to prove that this accusation is just an accusation stated by Mayella for revenge and attention; the righteous lawyer hopes that he can prove Tom Robinson’s and his own dignity and respectability to be unquestionable. Atticus finds evidence to clearly prove Robinson innocent, but after much controversy, the jury still refuses to question the credibility of a white girl. Her use of ethos is a fallback for her and for her father, Bob Ewell, and the two family members attempt to cover their stories so as not to lose respect in the town. Luckily, Atticus recognizes his situation and comes to the conclusion that this predicament would not change the way he lives his life. He demonstrates to his family and to his neighbors that they cannot ignore a problem or giving up and that "Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It’s knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do” (Lee 128). Even in the court room, Scout uses her father’s knowledge to assess the situation herself.
I [Scout] saw something only a lawyer's child could be expected to see, could be expected to watch for, and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing that the gun was empty. A jury never looks at a defendant it has already convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson (Lee 249).
Her connection to the rabid dog incident and to the trial proves that the idea to persevere has been inherited by Scout. Scout, the narrator, shows Atticus that his good intentions have not gone to waste. He follows through with these attempts to show his children good morals and ethics, and perseveres through his paradox of what is right and...

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