To Kill A Mockingbird Critical Response

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To Kill A Mockingbird Critical Essay

In Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, Atticus Finch is a defence attorney in the small town of Maycomb. He is also the single father of Jem and Scout Finch whom he raises according to his moral standards. Atticus has an intrinsic sense of justice which is prevalent in his day to day interactions with his children and the people of Maycomb. Maycomb County is a “tired old town” (p. 5) in the Deep South of America in the 1930s. Its people are enduring the hardships of the Great Depression which has caused widespread poverty and created a climate of both tedium and tension. Even though Atticus and his family are also affected by the economic decline in the state of Alabama, Atticus tries to see the town
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Since his youth, Atticus has demonstrated a strong moral compass which has shaped his decisions and actions. As a boy, he was known as “One-Shot Finch” (p. 107). If Atticus "...shot fifteen times and hit fourteen doves he’d complain about wasting ammunition,” (p. 108) indicating he was unrelenting in his pursuit of perfect aim. However, he gave up shooting when he realised "God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things.” (p. 109). The oxymoron of “unfair advantage” depicts Atticus’ ethical examination of the killing defenceless creatures without consideration for their right to live. He discovers the bipartisan nature of advantages — their potential to favour someone or something at the expense of others. This revelation is an early indicator of Atticus’ ability to reflect on his choices and develop his integrity over time. His profession as a lawyer allows him to actualise his desire for social justice in his town and according to his own moral stance. When offered the case of defending a ‘Negro’ Tom Robinson, accused of sexually assaulting a young white girl, Atticus accepts responsibility despite the …show more content…
His innate sense of justice drives his ability to think, act and speak with morality and truthfulness. He is constantly examining and challenging his own behaviour as well as societal standards, encouraging self-improvement and his work as a lawyer seeking justice for others. He adheres to his principles with or without the vindication of the crowd, even at his own risk. Similarly, Atticus remains unfailingly faithful to the power of truth and regardless of the situation, he acts with consistency and a preparedness to deliver and receive truth. Together, morality and honesty, Atticus’ finest and most respected attributes, provide the framework for his lifelong endeavour to perceive the people and events of Maycomb as objectively as possible. He believes in viewing people according to their capacity for good, placing a confidence in them to fulfil their potential. Atticus’‘perfect perception’ portrays Maycomb in a light full of optimism, creating a chance for people to prove themselves in the darkness of the Great Depression, thus realising his innate desire for justice in the

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