“To Kill a Mockingbird” Exam Essay
TOPIC: Atticus Finch is a man of wisdom and integrity. Describe Atticus’ role in challenging the prejudices of Maycomb society and what his children learn about themselves and other people from their father. By Megan Davis
Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, is a transfixing story about one man’s courage, wisdom and integrity to fight against the disease of racial prejudice. Set in the mid 1930’s Town of Maycomb County, Southern Alabama, the story is told through the eyes of a child, Jean Louise Finch, by her adult self. The novel introduces various characters including Atticus Finch his children, Scout and Jem. Everyone was separated by their skin colour or occupation, something that Atticus challenged. “When it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins…” (Page243). There were four distinct social classes in Maycomb County. Atticus was in the highest class because he was a white lawyer. Below them were the poor but honest white people, such as the Cunninghams and under them, the poor “white trash” such as the Ewells. The lowest social class consisted of black people. Many of the attitudes of the white people towards the blacks were one-sided and prejudiced “There’s nothing more sickening to me than a low-grade white man who’ll take advantage of a Negro’s ignorance…” (Page243). Atticus Finch wasn’t like the people of Maycomb because of his attitude of acceptance. He believed in the truth and showing the injustice of prejudice. It’s clear that Atticus raises his children with these same beliefs and values. He seeks to be an example to his children. He doesn’t want to appear as one man at home and another around town“…if they don’t trust me they won’t trust anybody…I can’t live one way in town and another way at home” (page 301-302). He treats his black house keeper, Calpurnia with the same respect he treats his children. “…I don’t think...
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