To Kill a Mockingbird Equality

Michaela Roselli

Mr. Breuninger

Honors English II, Period 2

3 May 2013
Southern Pride and Prejudice

The residents of the pocket sized, rural town called Maycomb are consumed by their pride for their town history, and only a small majority of them have an unprejudiced mindset when it comes to race and social equality. In Harper Lee’s provocative novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the author concentrates mainly on two ideologies, racism and social inequality, both practiced by hypocritical people. She depicts two story-lines: one of the town recluse and the other about an incriminated black man, both of which demonstrate the town’s lack of tolerance for those below them while showing favoritism to those who share the same social status. While most of Lee’s characters are disagreeable people, the protagonist Atticus and his children, Jem and Scout, exemplify equality and compassion. Atticus Finch is the best example of someone who practices equality because he vetoes the status quo by accepting those who are rejected by the society of Maycomb.
Attorney Atticus Finch is assigned to represent a black man accused of raping a white woman. Although he is aware that his endeavors may be in vain because his client would never be acquitted in a court full of white men, he takes on the task because of his beliefs of equal rights for all. Due to his firm standing in his views, he is prepared to face harsh criticism from the town. When his daughter quizzically asks him why he would take on such a case, he responds, “For a couple of reasons...the main one is if I didn’t, I couldn’t hold my head up in town. I couldn’t represent this country in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something” (Lee 63). Atticus is appalled by the behavior of the people in his town and believes that if he does not legally help this victimized black man, he would be conforming to the ways of Maycomb society and would not be a proper role model to his children. As the...