Atticus Finch’s relationship with the people of Maycomb and his role in the community

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee centers around the character of Atticus Finch, a generous and fair man who is well-respected in the community of Maycomb, Alabama. He is a prominent lawyer who often takes on legal issues for people in the town, even accepting alternative forms of payment from those who cannot afford his services. Atticus is known for his unbiased and fair approach to every situation, striving to be just and rational. However, when he takes on the case of defending an African American man named Tom Robinson, who is accused of a crime he did not commit, Atticus faces a backlash of criticism from the community. Despite this, Atticus remains committed to seeing justice served and is ultimately able to show the community his true character when he stands up to a mob attempting to harm Tom. Atticus Finch is a significant figure in the novel, embodying the importance of fairness and justice in a society marked by racial inequality.

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The Undeniably Honorable Man

What happens when an incredibly generous and fair man within a community takes on a court case defending the side that is extremely unpopular due to the current racial situation? You get Harper Lee’s monumental classic known as “To Kill A Mockingbird”. Atticus Finch’s role in the community is very easily defined by his relationship with the people of Maycomb. Playing a very important part in the legal affairs and issues of most of the town, he is very important to many people. Atticus Finch, being the father of Scout and Jem, has a continuing presence throughout the entire novel even when he is not the primary focus. This also seems to be the case within the community, as many of the people in the town often come to Atticus for help with various legal issues that they cannot deal with themselves. He would even very often accept various alternative forms of payment because he knew that most of the people he was serving could not pay him monetarily. He is also always seems to be the one that is unbiased and fair in every situation that he is confronted with, striving to be just and rational. He is well respected among the community with the exception of a few who question his parenting skills.

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There is an awkward change of tides in the novel when Atticus is appointed to defend an African American man named Tom Robinson. Like any other case he takes on, Atticus approaches this one without bias and with the intent to see to it that even if justice is not served that the truth is told in the court room. With the American society in the south the way it was during the time the novel took place, obviously any case in which an African American was accused of anything usually meant that he or she was guilty without any real review. The fact that Atticus takes this case so seriously is disgraceful to most of the citizens of Maycomb. There is an onslaught of rumors and insults being hurled at both him and his children. The community takes on sort of a two-sided view of him. On one hand he was an honorable man that they all respected but on the other he was defending Tom, something that no one could bring themselves to openly agree with.

The night that Tom was brought to the Maycomb jail is a great example of the two-sided respect. When Mr. Walter Cunningham and the rest of the mob come to lynch Tom, Atticus is there to greet them and things turn sour just long enough for his children to show up to rescue him from the situation. When making small talk with Mr. Cunningham, Scout says “entailments are bad”, “Atticus said not to worry, it takes a long time sometimes”, and that “you all’d ride it out together”: (Lee, 175-176). This reminds Mr. Cunningham of the great generosity that Atticus has shown him in the past. He then decides to take his men and leave. Atticus Finch plays a very important role in the community of Maycomb, Alabama. He is very well respected by all, even if at times it does not seem like it. He works to make sure that everyone has a fair chance at living as comfortably as possible.

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Atticus Finch’s relationship with the people of Maycomb and his role in the community. (2016, Oct 28). Retrieved from

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