In Harper Lee's, To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is illustrated as a valued individual in the community of Maycomb, a man that legitimately believes that justice prevail, and also that is portrayed as a hero for all....
(1) Racial justice. The fate of Tom Robinson is a story of three centuries of apartheid and injustice toward African Americans. Don't expect me to accomplish in a few minutes what ethicists, philosophers, sociologists, psychologists, theologians, and historians have not been able to explain in the past three centuries: unravel the complex tapestry of racism in the world. Harper Lee could not figure it out. Nor could Atticus Finch, who asks in the novel: "Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand. . . ." But there is a difference between Atticus and many of us. The inability to explain is not an excuse for spiritual amnesia. Just after his troubled query about racism, Atticus adds: "I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town." Beyond our embedded love for our communities and families, Lee seems to be saying, is our obligation to follow our own internal moral compass. "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule," Atticus explains, "is a person's conscience." And that is precisely why Atticus emerged as such a profoundly important figure in American literature. If the jurors represent us at our cautious, timid, fearful, worst, Atticus is humanity at its best. And that is one reason the novel endures. In an age of anti-heroes--political and corporate corruption, excesses of all kinds by celebrities and athletes--Americans have lost their pool of real life heroes. So they seek them now in literature. And in Atticus Finch, they found their favorite hero, the person more than any other they aspire to be like and they want to represent them at their best. Miss Maudie explais all this to Jem: "I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them."
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