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The Misunderstood Citizens Of Maycomb County

1645 words - 7 pages

Has there ever been a time when it felt like nobody understood or either it was hard to understand another person’s situation? In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, these instances are a prominent part of the storyline that Harper Lee shows through the misunderstood characters. Harper Lee proves, “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (39), through the characters Atticus Finch, Tom Robinson, and Boo Radley.
Atticus Finch is one of the main characters in the novel. Atticus is an example of being misunderstood through One-Shot Finch, the court case, and his personality. Atticus’ ...view middle of the document...

Atticus shows the children that just because he is older does not mean that he cannot do what the younger fathers do. Scout and Jem begin little by little to understand their dad a little more.
No one in Maycomb really understands Atticus Finch throughout the Tom Robinson case. Atticus is appointed the trial but Jem and Scout cannot really understand why he takes it. Lee tries to explain it to them through a conversation between Scout and Atticus as follows:
“If you shouldn’t be defendin’ him, then why are you doing it?”
“For a number of reasons,” said Atticus. “The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again”(100).
Atticus shows them that even if it is hard and no one understands, doing what is right is always the best. The people in town are very critical of Atticus because they cannot understand him. They think that he is doing this because he wants to, but in all reality he is doing it because he feels like he has to. Atticus says, “Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one’s mine, I guess”(101). This case really defines Atticus’ character and shows everyone himself. Most people, though, do not like what they think Atticus is doing and who he is. M.E. Gandy states, “Atticus, a man of conscience, who patiently counsels and demonstrates- how they should walk in the other person’s shoes, hold up their heads, and show restraint in the face of hate and ignorance.” (5) Atticus is a prime example of this quote because he never lets anyone’s comments get to him no matter what. All the rude and untrue remarks him and his family received show how misunderstood he is by everyone. The people in Maycomb never “get in his shoes and walk around” so they never understand the true Atticus Finch.
Another reason Atticus is misunderstood is by his personality. Milton writes, “Atticus sets a standard of morality no one can match”(13). He has a very protective nature that is brought out through his relationship with Tom and Boo Radley. Atticus does anything he can to defend these two. Whether it is protecting Tom from a mob, or covering for Boo’s murder of Bob Ewell, he always protects them. People cannot comprehend how he would want to protect Tom in the case, but he did it anyway. Scout does not understand why he covers for Boo after the murder. He does these things even though no one understands why.
Tom Robinson is another example of a person who is misunderstood because of his ethnicity and his personality. One of the biggest reasons for this is his ethnicity. Tom is falsely accused of raping Mayella Ewell. The town mainly turns against Tom because he is black. Harold Bloom states, “Ms. Lee perceived law as incapable of dealing with the injustices done to blacks in Southern courts because the injustices were...

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