Theme Of Justice In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Maycomb, Alabama. A small, old southern town populated with families who have lived and grown there for generations, where everyone knows everyone. All faces are familiar and news spreads faster by mouth than it could by paper. A racial divide so wide an innocent man could be convicted of a crime he did not do, with the color of his skin as the most convincing factor. In the work To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses Atticus’ search for justice to convey that everyone is deserving of justice. Atticus exemplifies an understanding and search of justice through his relationship with those in the community, through his relationship with his children and through his court case.

Throughout the story, Atticus’ relation to members of the
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Justice is portrayed as a personal element of Atticus character, as he states many times that “before [he] can live with other folks [he’s] got to live with [himself]” (Lee 140), emphasizing not only the necessary of honesty when treating other people but without it his conscious could not be clear. The closeness to which Atticus holds justice evokes the treatment of his kids as he tries to guide them as they grow. Atticus conveys his definition of justice by teaching Jem true courage by making him read to Mrs. Dubose as punishment for acting out when hearing insults against Atticus, by explaining to Scout the different lifestyles of people do not give her the right to judge them, by explaining that to cheat a black man as a white man makes one trash. He magnifies his fixation on removing ignorance from his children through educating them on current events and the truth behind wrongful actions. He is strongly committed to honesty with himself, his family and the community in Maycomb. Atticus even goes to the lengths of considering putting Jem on trial for the murder of Bob Ewell, to continue to be “the same in his house as he is on the public streets” (Lee 61). He thought it preposterous to let people believe he tried to hide a bad deed, rather than stay open and honest. Atticus would prefer to put his son on trial for murder, than allow the murder of the man who attempted to murder Jem and Scout to be glossed over in order prove to his children that fairness must always be achieved, because “if they don’t trust [me] they won’t trust anybody” (Lee 367). closing

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