Everyday Heroes, On To Kill A

1502 words - 6 pages

What kind of reasons would inspire someone to give up their time, talent, and treasure for another individual hardly known to them? Why would anyone risk his or her occupation, social standing, and prestige, to stand up for a single moral belief in justice? This value of individualism is extremely rare in society. Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, paints a very real picture of this value in the character Atticus Finch. Atticus relinquishes his basic need to care for himself. He decides not to live comfortably, but rather breaks his comfort zone, and thinks about others quality of life. He makes the decision to try to change his county, in respect to the value they see in others. It takes a person with strength, stamina, courage, and most importantly character, to stand up alone against culture, and mend an injustice.Atticus holds his position as the public condemns his righteous ideas of change, and people begin to admire his will power. They finally begin to admit to themselves that their consciences agree with him. The populace shows its unrest as they see he will take up the case in the quote, "Yea but Atticus aims to defend him that's what I don't like about it" (163). His town is used to the common defense lawyers taking the cases of defending Negroes, and putting on a sham trial. Therefore, when a champion of human rights like Atticus actually does his job, he is looked upon with scorn. They are so used to the accepted ways of everyday life, that no lawyer would dare go against them all, and risk his whole life, to right an inequity in his heart. Atticus' deep want of fairness, and equal rights for all is greatly presented in the quotation, "Atticus voice dropped and as he turned away from the jury, he said something I didn't catch. He said it more to himself than to the court. I punched Jem, what'd he say? He said, in the name of god believe him" (206). Atticus puts forth his greatest effort in the Robinson case, utilizing all the evidence, brains, and witnesses that he can. He stands true to his morals and delivers the most pivotal case of his career, showing infallibly the verdict of not guilty. However, the decision is not in the hands of citizens who are defenders of human rights, but people who are partial to their own agendas of prejudice. He wants to just reach out to one person in the jury, change their own selfish ways of thinking and turn their thoughts to others. All he wants is for them to let go of the prejudice they hold and become lovers of values, and basic ethics. A final quote showing the black communities unwavering support for his actions is, "I looked around they were all standing. All around us and in the balcony on the opposite wall the Negroes were getting to their feet" (211). This gives Atticus the moral support he needs to be a kind of hero in his own way. Their standing symbolizes standing up for justice, and Atticus' stand for humanity and his position against social discrimination. This makes Atticus'...

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