Atticus Egalitarianism Analysis

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Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird depicts the story of an egalitarian man living in a racially prejudiced society. In the town of Maycomb, Alabama, most people are racist towards African Americans, leaving only a few people believing that racism is unethical. Atticus Finch, a respected man, fights for the equality of a colored man in a trial. In addition, he also looks upon his children as if they were his peers. Throughout the novel, Harper Lee portrays Atticus Finch as egalitarian to establish that when one is faced with unjust circumstances, then one should overcome hindrances and do what is honorable in order to reveal oneself as respectable in society. Atticus is characterized as nondiscriminatory towards people of a different race,…show more content…
Atticus considers himself and his children as equals. For example, Scout asks Atticus why he defends a Negro: “... If I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to mind me again” (100). Atticus is portraying to Scout that if he did not act righteously by defending Tom Robinson he would be ashamed of himself, and he could not hold authority to his children. Atticus treats his children as if they were his peers, which illustrates how he values equality. Furthermore, Atticus wants to provide an egalitarian lifestyle for his children. For instance, Atticus explains to Mr. Tate why he does not want to cover up the truth for Jem if he had killed Mr. Ewell: “... Sometimes I think I'm a total failure as a parent, but I'm all they've got. Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I've tried to live so I can look squarely back at him… if I connived at something like this, frankly I couldn’t meet his eye, and they day I can't do that I'll know I've lost him. I don't want to lose him and Scout, because they're all I've got” (366). Atticus knows since Scout and Jem had to grow up without a mother, his children look up to him immensely. Atticus wants to live an honest life so his children can look at him with pride, and to do that he treats his children as his equals. In brief, Atticus is not only egalitarian by not having racial prejudice but also by his parenting
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