TKAM Essay

In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, there are two key characters that go against what each other stand for and their morals time in and time out throughout the story. Atticus Finch was a noble gentleman with philosophies that go far beyond his time, and can be seen as the popular ideology in the times we live in today. The acceptance we have learned over the past few decades to love every human being as they are is thanks to the people who were defiant and stood up to the society that he was born in. On the other hand we have a despicable, liquor intoxicated, man who cried wolf named Bob Ewell. When compared these two are as day and night as God and Lucifer.

Atticus Finch, a man of special talents with a gifted mind beyond his time. He takes pride in his last name, and holds his head high about being a slow-fused, altruistic man. He genuinely cares about his children and goes about raising them in a more unorthodox way in the times of this novel; he almost treats his children more as an equal than as their commander. This seems to stick, and the morals Atticus had can be seen in the young eyes of Jem and Scout. In the beginning of the novel Scout is portrayed as hotheaded and wants to fight every person who talks a little bit of slander, or looks at her unfavorably. Atticus sits scout down and says that she doesn’t need fists and violence to prove a point but instead to fight with her head, and she is very capable of proving better points with her words. Scout truly saw the point Atticus made and the reason behind why he said in, and from there on when Scout got angry she would clench her fists, say nothing, and just let it go. Atticus was a fair man with more courage than anybody else in his town even though most of his town mistook his courage for stupidity. He was given a case to defend a African-American male, which in those times had a near 100% conviction rate no matter how innocent they could seem. Most lawyers wouldn’t even think twice about trying, however Atticus said “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience- Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.” Atticus looks beyond the colour of somebodies skin and sees that everybody is capable of doing the same things; everybody’s brain can work the same, so there shouldn’t be a single reason why an innocent man should be executed for a crime he obviously didn’t commit. I believe that if everybody had been taught the same lesson Atticus taught Scout, “If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Countless lives would’ve been saved over the course of human history, and working together instead of against each other we would’ve achieved greater things by now.

To reiterate how noble and fair of a man Atticus Finch is, you can look at his polar opposite, and enemy in trial, Mr. Bob Ewell. Ewell took Mr. Tom Robinson to court on the account of rape and had nothing more to prosecute this man other than the fact that he was a black man, and it’s only in his nature to do so. However when you compare Tom and Mr. Ewell you can see that Tom helped Mayella Ewell out of the goodness of his heart and not for his own gain, he even turned down the offer of money. On the other hand Bob Ewell crosses everyone he knows, spending his welfare checks for his family mainly on alcohol, and he has a well-known reputation of being a less favourable member of this community. Bob Ewell even attacks the defendant’s lawyer, Atticus, after the trial for defending Tom, even though that’s exactly what his occupation is meant to do. When Bob couldn’t faze Atticus his scumbag head came up with the idea to attempt to kill his children. It is truly no surprise that when Bob was slain no one really cared, and chose to make a no case of culpable homicide and wrote it off as an ‘accident’. All in all the difference between Atticus and Bob is black and white, and what makes Atticus a respectable gentleman is accepting both the blacks and the whites.