Character Review of Atticus in To Kill a Mocking Bird By Harper Lee:
In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus is very dynamic. In the book the narrator Scout, believes Atticus is a hero, but is he or is he racist.
Atticus is a passive hero in the book, he does not shape events, and he does what is right but nothing more. As a passive hero, Atticus took the case of Tom Robinson—which is unheard of in a racist town like Maycomb. When Atticus took the case it engendered a lot of racial anxiety and hostility towards Atticus.
During the case some onlookers noted, “You know the court appointed him to defend this n*****.” “Yeah, but Atticus aims to defend him. That’s what I don’t like about it.”
Despite this resistance, Atticus tried to win the case like any other. Though the town’s Macomb’s dislike of Atticus’s “love” everyone policy, he does not change his ways
In the story many of the people of Maycomb are hostile to the fact Atticus is defending a black man, with words like “n***** lover” being said to Atticus’s face. The town even had some folks so against it, go to the jail where Tom Robinson was, to hurt him. Atticus knowing something like that would happen went to the jail to protect Tom Robison.
A man from the mob asks Atticus, “He in there, Mr. Finch?” Atticus not being intimidated replies, “He is, and he’s asleep don’t wake him up.”
Atticus Finch also believes that all men are equal. Atticus tells Scout that the people of Maycomb are suffering from a “sickness”—the inability to see a black person as a real person. The people of Maycomb are rooted in the south, and most if not all of the town’s white population is racist.
In the end of the trial after the verdict Atticus knows it is wrong and says, “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
Atticus may not be the sort of person to scream in outrage or stand up and protest against the people of Maycomb, but he is a hero. He is scorned by his racist Southern town by defending a black man wrongly accused of rape. He also stood down a lynch mob that had come to hurt Tom Robinson. He also tried to teach Maycomb, Jem, and Scout about justice, decency and tolerance.
Atticus can also be considered a passive racist in the book. During the book he never stands against the pure black hate in Maycomb.
Atticus in his profession could help the black population, yet he doesn’t. He believes that you shouldn’t hate anyone, not even Hitler.
Atticus also knows about the Ku Klux Klan, but doesn’t think they are bad people. His chose is to ignore a greater part of the society of Maycomb. He never stands up against the lynches or the segregation, or even the rude words and stereotypes of his town. He tolerates it and acts like it doesn’t happen.
He also never corrects people when they call him “n***** lover” and Ms. Dubose who is racist he treats her with kindness like she is not doing anything wrong.
He tells his children about justice, decency, and tolerance. However, how is he doing that himself? If he believes in justice than why doesn’t he fight the injustice of the Ku Klux Klan and the racists of Maycomb. He also goes against Mayella for liking a Blackman, like that is something bad to do.
He is a passive racist, he may not openly hate blacks, or go lynching, but he does not think of it as the horrible thing it actually is. He ignores it, he is in the position to do something about all the injustice, but does nothing. He doesn’t tell people to not use derogatory terms, he remains tolerant to it. He acts like it is only some pesky fly, he believes all people are good, and doesn’t think racists are bad. If he were not a racist he would feel a dislike to racist actions and people, but he is a racist however little he shows it.