Character Analysis in To Kill a Mockingbird
Atticus Finch, the father of Scout and Jem, is a highly respected AND responsible citizen of Maycomb County. An attorney by profession, he has been associated with Maycomb for many generations and respected by all.
“He was Maycomb County born and bred’ and Was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family. ‘ Atticus represents morality and reason and is always trying to instill good values and a sense of moral propriety in his children. He broke Maycomb customs by leaving to study law in Montgomery. Atticus finch went to Montgomery to study law) As a character, Atticus is even-handed throughout the story. He is one of the very few characters who never has to rethink his position on an issue. His parenting style is quite unique in that he treats his children as adults, honestly answering any question they have.
(I’m afraid our activities would be received with considerable disapprobation by the more learned authorities. ) He uses all these instances as an opportunity to pass his values on to Scout and Jem.
Atticus uses this approach not only with his children, but with all of Maycomb. Yet, for all of his mature treatment of Jem and Scout, he atiently recognizes that they are children and that they will make childish mistakes and assumptions. (he played with us, read to us and treated us with courteous detachment.
‘) Hence, Atticus has a great influence over his children’s perspective of things. He makes them understand the fact that they should see the world from other peoples’ points of view. He explains why Mr.
Ewell poaches and makes them think about Arthur Radleys life. (mind his own business and let the Radleys mind theirs. ‘ You will never really understand someone until you climb into their skin and walk around in it.
) His stern but fair attitude toward Jem and Scout reaches into the courtroom as well. He politely proves that Bob Ewell is a liar; he respectfully questions Mayella about her role in Tom’s crisis. One of the things that his longtime friend Miss Maudie admires about him is that ‘”Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets. ” The only time he seriously lectures his children is on the evils of taking advantage of those less fortunate or less educated, a philosophy he carries into the animal world by his refusal to hunt. And although most of the town eadily pins the label “trash” on other people, Atticus reserves that distinction for those people who unfairly exploit others.
Atticus believes in Justice and the Justice system. He doesn’t like criminal law, yet he accepts the appointment to Tom Robinson’s case.
He knows before he begins that he’s going to lose this case, but that doesn’t stop him from giving Tom the strongest defense he possibly can. Atticus feels that the Justice system should be color blind, and he defends Tom as an innocent man, not a man of color. When called a ‘nigger-lover’ he says ‘l do my best to love verybody. ‘ Atticus is the adult character least infected by prejudice in the novel and is committed to racial equality as he says He has no problem with his children attending Calpurnia’s church, or with a black woman essentially raising his children.
We wouldn’t operate a single day without Cal. ) He admonishes Scout not to use racial slurs, and is careful to always use the terms acceptable for his time and culture. He goes to Helen’s home to tell her of Tom’s death, which means a white man spending time in the black community. Other men in town would’ve sent a messenger and left t t that His lack ot prejudice doesn’t apply only to other races, however. He is unaffected by Mrs.
Dubose’s caustic tongue, Miss Stephanie Crawford’s catty gossip, and even Walter Cunningham’s thinly veiled threat on his life.
His cultured and educated position is highlighted again when he doesn’t retaliate when Bob Ewell spits in his face because he understands that he has wounded Ewell’s pride ” the only real possession this man has. Atticus accepts these people as they are because he is very reasonable and tries to take into account both sides of a story. He is a man f good moral character, as we see when he accepts things like stove wood and hickory nuts from clients who can’t afford to pay him cash. In conclusion, Atticus is characterized throughout the book by his absolute consistency.
He stands rigidly committed to Justice and thoughtfully willing to view matters from the perspectives of others.
He does not develop in the novel but retains these qualities in equal measure, making him the novel’s moral guide and voice of conscience. The Ewell family is introduced right from the beginning of the novel as the black sheep of society; unethical, uneducated and inhospitable representing the minority f evil whites in To Kill a Mockingbird. They belong right at the bottom of the white social scale and all of Maycomb know this.
Being described as ‘absolute trash’ by Atticus an extremely tolerant man gives solid foundation to their lowly social status. The head of the Ewell family Bob Ewell is the main cause of the Ewell familys disgraced existence.
The Ewells live in a filthy shack surrounded by a garbage filled filthy atmosphere mainly because Bob is not concerned about the standard of life of his own family. His children are dirty, illiterate and diseased; reflections of his own ttitudes as seen from Burris earlier in the novel. (he was the filthiest human I had ever seen)This has come to be because of his negligence and lack of love whatsoever for his children.
Concern, love and affection are not in the least his strong points. His wife is dead and this may be an excuse for the current state of affairs but it does not explain the fact that he doesn’t even TRY to improve life for himself and his unfortunate children. His sole means of income and support for him and his family are relief cheques provided by the government as a result of the fact that he doesn’t ork tor a living.
Ironically this ne spends on alcohol tor his own pleasure and does not incorporate this for the betterment of him and his family.
Bob is arrogant and foul-mouthed as seen during his episode at court. His ignorance and anti social behaviour is also highlighted here due to his narrow-minded testimony. Most importantly, Bob Ewell’s actions and words express his unreasonable and crude racial prejudice. When he catches his daughter making advances to a black man and beats her, he tries to cover up his and his daughter’s offenses by accusing the black an (Tom Robinson) of rape on a basis of lies and deception displaying his phenomenal hate for African Americans.
The irony in this is that when compared, Ewell is no better than any ‘black.
In fact, his actions, attitudes and illiteracy all imply his lowly, evil and unscrupulous character; he does not retain the right to Judge blacks but is not restricted simply because he is WHITE. Ewell is a diehard racist who despises black men, going so far as to say that the ‘nigger nests’ near his house devalues his property when we all know that the black communist houses are neat, rderly and clean in great contrast to his own.
He even displays his bigotry in the courtroom, when he says, “l seen that nigger yonder, ruttin’ on my Mayella. ” This is his spineless way of trying to display his power over blacks and protecting his non- existent social reputation. His mean, malicious, cowardly spirit is shown to all when he attempts revenge for his public humiliation during the trial by attacking those unable to resist; he pesters Helen Robinson because he knows that she is in no position to retaliate as a black woman and attacks Jem and Scout in the dark as they annot defend themselves against him.
His cowardice and weak character is further emphasized when he spits on Atticus’s face instead of dealing with him diplomatically. Finally, Ewell’s cruel, inconsiderate, uneducated position is reinforced when it is seen that he has no qualms about sending an INNOCENT man to his death over a question of pride, prejudice, racism and improving his social stature: unfortunately for him his plans backfire permanently cementing his family’s despicable reputation once and for all. Only similarity between Atticus and Bob is that both have lost their wives.