Atticus Finch's Childhood In To Kill A Mockingbird

Superior Essays
Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression. Atticus Finch is the father of James “Jem” Finch and Jean Louise “Scout” Finch. Walter Cunningham is a child with whom Scout, the main character, interacts with during the book. Scout and Jem become friends with Miss. Rachel Haverford’s nephew, Charles Baker “Dill” Harris. Miss Maudie Atkinson is the children’s neighbor and mentor. The book is written in the first person point of view of Scout who narrates the events of her childhood. The Finch children meet Dill and together the trio are immensely interested in their neighbor, Author “Boo” Radley, because he is reclusive. Atticus is a lawyer who is chosen to represent Thomas “Tom” Robinson. …show more content…
Maudie and Atticus teach that it is wrong to harm innocent living creatures. Atticus is telling Jem and Scout that it is a sin to kill a mockingbird when they are learning to shoot, so Miss. Maudie is trying to help them understand the lesson when she says, “Mockingbirds [do not] do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They [do not] eat up people’s gardens, [do n not] nest in corncribs, they [do not] do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. [That is] why [it is] a sin to kill a mockingbird” (103). The mockingbird is innocent because it only provides music and does not harm and annoy humans. The mockingbird is proven to be an innocent creature, so they come to the conclusion that it should not be harmed. Both Miss. Maudie and Atticus teach this lesson because Atticus originally says it, but Miss. Maudie explains it. Miss. Maudie is explaining to Scout and Jem, why Atticus never tells them that he is good at shooting and never shoots anymore except to kill a rabid dog so she says, “”Maybe he [puts] his gun down he [realizes] that God [gives] him an unfair advantage over most living things” (112). The living creatures that Atticus is sustaining from shooting is considered innocent because Atticus has such a great advantage over them. The only reason for hurting a living creature is a situation such as the canine being a danger to Maycomb. In conclusion, Atticus and Miss. Maudie are teaching the children the important lesson of not harming the innocent by …show more content…
Scout is starting to crush a roly-poly but Jem stops her before she injures the insect and when Scout asks why Jem says, “Because they [do not] bother you” (273). Jem is telling Scout not to kill the bug even though Scout’s natural instinct is to kill insects because the bug does not harm her. Roly-polies just roll around and do not bite, so that makes a roly-poly innocent based off of lack of intention to bite and harm. During the finale Boo saves the children from Mr. Ewell by killing him, but the town officer, Mr. Heck Tate, is blaming the fatality on an accident. Atticus asks Scout if she can understand why he is doing this and she asks, “Well, [it is] sort of like [shooting] a mockingbird [is it not]?” (317). Boo was only defending the children so he was not trying to harm the children and he only stabbed Mr. Ewell to save the children. Boo’s reclusive lifestyle would be ruined if Maycomb’s citizens found out that Boo was a hero. Ruining his way of life would be harming him and he is innocent of intent to hurt Mr. Ewell. Throughout the book Atticus teaches Scout and Jem not to harm the innocent and they apply this in not harming people who are innocent through intent as they

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