Moral Compass In To Kill A Mockingbird

1031 Words 4 Pages
Often it is difficult to comply with morals when others seem to have no problem choosing to ignore them. This statement is not true for Atticus Finch, who provides the moral compass of To Kill a Mockingbird. To Kill a Mockingbird focuses on the impact of morals and society on an innocent man’s life. When African American Tom Robinson is wrongly accused of raping caucasian Mayella Ewell, Atticus Finch is assigned to defend him. Institutionalized racial bias is still at large in the South in the 1930s, and Atticus knows that Robinson will not be acquitted, but he does as much with the case as he possibly can. Harper Lee develops the Atticus’ virtuous, levelheaded, and empathetic character by revealing his actions, his dialogue, and views of others. …show more content…
When a mad dog threatens the safety of his children, Atticus shoots the dog with perfect accuracy, which comes as a surprise to his children, whom he had never told he could shoot. Atticus did not use his gun until the need arose, though he was “the deadest shot in Maycomb County (pg. 129)”. He did not want to use his gift to kill maliciously, so he “put down his gun when he realized that God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things (pg 130)”. Atticus did not shoot until the need arose because he does not believe in killing unless necessary. Atticus does his best to defend a black man in court, even though many believe that he should not purely because of the racial difference between the defendant and the prosecutor. A spectator in the courtroom says to a pal, “Atticus aims to defend him (page 218)” and then goes on to express his distaste with Atticus’ goal. In multiple cases, some to his face and some not, Atticus is ridiculed and judged by both family and other inhabitants of Maycomb county concerning his efforts in the courtroom, but he defends Tom Robinson because he knows it is …show more content…
When Scout suggests that she should be able to quit attending school because she has a disagreement with her teacher, Atticus responds that she must “consider things from [her] point of view” (39). Instead of immediately becoming angry at the teacher for upsetting his daughter, he instructs his daughter and tells her to “climb into his skin and walk around in it” (39). When Jem suggest that Atticus is worried about the trial, Scout argues that “Atticus [doesn’t] worry about anything” (183). Scout’s impression that Atticus does not fret shows that Atticus always appears calm. When Atticus is attacked and threatened by Bob Ewell, his only response is that he is “too old” (291) to fight. Though his children and sister are extremely concerned for his, Atticus is calm and does not allow himself to be provoked. This particular character trait of Atticus’ helps influence the way other characters react to important plot events throughout the

Related Documents