To Kill A Mockingbird Essays: Doing the Right Thing

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To Kill a Mockingbird "I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them." – Miss Maudie The quote above states that Atticus Finch was a man who did unpleasant things, but this quote is false. Miss Maudie had every good intention when she told Jem and Scout this and her point was taken in the way she intended it to be taken by the children. Her point could have been better worded if the portion that reads "our unpleasant jobs" were replaced with "what is right." Atticus did unpleasant things only because he knew that they were the right thing to do. Miss Maudie told the children about their father in this way only to avoid saying that the rest of the town was wrong.

Atticus remained a pillar of righteousness in a town whose moral foundation was weak to say the least. When Atticus took Tom Robinson's case, he didn't treat the case differently from any other he might take on. He knew that there was no way that Tom would be saved from death no matter how well he defended him. From opening to closing statements, Atticus remained vigilant in his defense of Tom.

Another consequence of defending Tom Robinson in court, aside from being known as a "nigger lover" and opening himself to several other forms of racial hatred from the good people of Maycomb, Atticus was also arguing against a man who was known to be a violent drunk. Bob Ewell was a frightening man and it was noble of Atticus to put himself in a position of opposing such an unstable individual. Atticus remained a gentleman when Ewell confronted him at the post office. Most men in his position would have violently lashed out at Robert E. after being spat upon. Atticus did the right thing and remained a gentleman throughout the confrontation.

Miss Maudie's statement is true in that the right things he did were sometimes unpleasant, I think Aunty Alexandra's stay with the Finch Family was one of those things. Even if Aunty's stay wasn't entirely his idea, Atticus tolerated her stay and her a treatment of the children because he knew that in some ways she was good for the children. Scout needed to have a female influence in her life and unfortunately that meant having a sometimes cold and stern woman living with them.

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