He says to his daughter Scout, “If I didn’t defend him [Tom], I couldn’t hold my head up in town, I couldn’t represent this country in legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again (Lee pg. 100). Although Atticus has every reason to quit he sticks through with his decision because he believes that it is the right thing to do. The citizens of Maycomb obviously respect this decision, even if they do not normally show it, for they reelect Atticus to be on the lawyer’s board again after Tom’s trial. Boo Radley symbolizes a mockingbird and how every human, no matter how different they seem to be, longs for human compassion.
Courageous Characters in “To Kill a Mockingbird” Courage is a quality that can be seen in many people throughout society. In Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” the theme courage is present in multiple characters. Atticus, Boo Radley and Scout encounter various obstacles/challenges that require a great deal of courage to overcome. Atticus shows courage when he defends Tom Robinson in the court of law. When Boo protects Jem and Scout from Mr. Ewell, it reveals his courage.
“It couldn’t be worse, Jack. The only thing we’ve got is a black man’s word against the Ewells” (88). Atticus knew he probably was not going to win the case, but he worked at it anyways and showed his true bravery. Another example of bravery for Atticus in the Tom Robinson case was that people were not happy with his decision, and they made fun of him for it. “What did Francis call him?” “A nigger-lover.
For Atticus Finch, a white, well-known lawyer in Maycomb does not wish for any self-benefit out of what he is doing. He is chosen to protect Tom Robinson for there may be a possibility and chance for Tom in court. Atticus does nothing more than to fight for what is right and to prove that “the evil assumption-that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption one associates with minds of their caliber. Which, gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie” (217). As expected, a majority of the citizens in Maycomb are not impressed nor support the action being taken by Atticus.
Yet a wise man such as Atticus does not fully understand how the citizens of Maycomb can be so irrational and unjust in their prejudiced views of others. This is shown in Part one of Harper Lee’s novel as Atticus tells his brother Jack, ‘Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I will never truly understand.’ Atticus is a great influence on Scout through his actions and words, however he does not force her to act in this way. Atticus has the highest respect for everyone in Maycomb, regardless of gender, age or race. This is shown in his defence for Tom Robinson and his employment and loyalty to Calpurnia. He also demonstrates this when he explains Boo-Radley’s situation and reprimands Scout for treating a boy at her school badly because he was of lower class.
If I did not take the case then I would stringing a possibly innocent man out to dry and not giving him a fighting chance which is what I believed in when I became a lawyer. On the other hand I had to consider the reactions of the white population of Macomb, which could not only result in harm coming to me but also to my two children scout and jem who had already suffered to much loss with the death of their mother. After consideration I chose to help the man even though the case was unwinnable as a white jury would always convict a black man. My desision did not only fall on this, over my children’s life I have driven to teach them strong values and hopefully by observing this case they would see the wrong occurring in the world as not all people are treated equally. In long run this may not have been my best decision as without the help of a recluse named boo radely my children may not have been alive today, but hopefully they and the rest of the town have learnt that it is not right to kill a
He did not want to be remembered as a friend of the “devil” he didn’t want to have a blackened name. John wanted to be remembered as the man who gave his soul to protect his family and friends. Signing his name would mean he would be remembered for the bad not the good, John did not want his children living in humiliation, John preferred not to live rather than live with a blackened name. By handing his soul over Proctor believed he would regained his goodness, all the good left in him was his name, and he believed that this was the only thing he should leave behind. Reverend Parris was the opposite to John Proctor, he also feared for his name but not in the same way.
What is an unjust law? An unjust law according to Dr. King Jr. is one that “degrades human personality.” The clergy men, in their letter, urge the “Negro citizenry to observe the principles of law and order and common sense.” Addressing their argument Dr. Martin Luther King expresses his thoughts on the laws. He agrees with the clergymen, that laws are meant to be followed, but then goes on to say that just because something is a law does not mean that it is just. “For instance, I have been arrested on a charge of parading without a permit. Now, there is nothing wrong in having an ordinance which requires a permit for a parade.
He tried to clearly make the point that being silent would only make the matter of racism worse. Silence and lack of any action by society only allows those who use hate to deprive others of their basic human rights to continue doing so. The fact that when Barack Obama gave his speech 45 years later, this country is still struggling with the issues of racism and prejudice is a sad reality that we haven’t come as far in this struggle as we might believe we have. I like the fact that both of these men address the need to bring the problem into the open and encourage using a non-violent approach to break through people’s denial. In Obama’s speech he says that blacks still hold a resentment towards the white man.
(Lee 116) Of all, the greatest demonstration of courage is Atticus’ fight for Tom Robinson’s life. He is wise enough to know that the prejudices of people will never allow justice to be done, at the same time, he is determined that the truth be told so that people who convict Tom Robinson will be aware that they are convicting an innocent man. Just like Mrs. Dubose, Atticus knew that he could never win the case, but he tried anyway. Again, Atticus shows his courage to his children. “ I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.