Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, Harper Lee’s, To Kill a Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior, to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, and the struggle between blacks and whites. Atticus Finch, a lawyer and single parent in a small southern town in the 1930’s, is appointed by the local judge to defend Tom Robinson, a black man, who is accused of raping a white woman. Friends and neighbors object when Atticus puts up a strong and spirited defense on behalf of the accused black man. Atticus renounces violence but stands up for what he believes in. He decides to defend Tom Robinson because if he did not, he would not only lose the respect of his children and the townspeople, but himself as well.
In addition to being a lawyer, Atticus enjoys being a father to Jem and Scout. When Jem and Scout found out that their father would be defending a black person, they knew immediately that there would be much controversy, humiliation from the people of Maycomb and great difficulty keeping Tom alive for the trial. It was not long when Atticus had to leave the house very late to go to jail, where Tom was kept because many white people wanted to kill him. Worrying about their father, Jem and Scout sneak out of the house to find him. A self-appointed lynch mob has gathered on the jail to take justice into their own hands. Scout decides to talk to Walter Cunningham, one of the members of the mob. She talks about how her father Atticus thought that “entailments are bad “(154 ) ” and that his boy Walter is a real nice boy and tell him I said hey”(154). Upon hearing this, the mob realized that Atticus cannot be all bad if he has such a nice daughter as Scout. Atticus, with some unexpected help from his children, faces down the mob and cause them to break up the potential lynching of the man behind bars. Having gone to a black church earlier, the children found out that Tom is actually a kind person,.