In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, The Rabid Dog Atticus Shoots Is Echoed Later In The Novel In His Attempt To Save The Community From Committing An Act Of Madness.

771 words - 3 pages

In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is a man of action. He will never sit idly by while danger is afoot. He steps in, takes charge, and does the job right. Atticus is a man the town can call upon when crisis has arisen. One concrete example of this ability would be the Mad Dog incident. Tim Johnson ran rabid in the streets of Maycomb, and the man called for the job was none other than Atticus Finch. Atticus solved this problem with one well placed gunshot, but this would be only the beginning. The rabid dog Atticus shoots is echoed later in the novel in his attempt to save the community from committing an act of madness.The responsibility of defending Tom Robinson is given to Atticus in the identical matter that Heck Tate gave Atticus the responsibility of defending the town from Tim Johnson. Shooting and wounding a rabid dog can just make the situation worse, just the same as wounding a town's system of beliefs and values, and as Heck says, both situations are "a one shot job." (109) One Shot Finch is brought in to solve the problem. Defending Tom to the point of waiting outside his jail cell, protecting him from a lynching mob shows Atticus's willingness to carry out a task completely. In this scene he comes against an entire pack of mad dogs armed torches and pitchforks and running rabid with prejudice, ignorance and rage. This situation is a great deal more intense for Atticus, because this time his children are involved. Even with a pack of vengeful, drunken, and angry men staring down Atticus and his two children Atticus still stays calm and "put the newspaper down very carefully, adjusting its creases with lingering fingers." (173) The same calm is shown in the dog scene Scout believes he moves gracefully, "like an underwater swimmer." (109)In the trial scene, Atticus must face the toughest pack of mad dogs, yet; the jury. Foaming at the mouths with preconceived notions of how the trial will end, Atticus must attempt the impossible and try to convince a panel of white people that a black man is innocent. Like making a careful shot, Atticus takes aim and sets up all his...

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