To Kill a Mockingbird
The relevance of the issues in To Kill a Mockingbird are as important today as the day they were written. The injustice, prejudice and aura of good tainted by evil are explored throughout the novel by Harper Lee, portraying the good and bad aspects of society, while still conveying an optimistic message.
Atticus is one of the main characters and is seen as the ‘moral backbone’ of Maycomb. He values tolerance and fairness while his penetrating intelligence and calm wisdom earn him the respect shown by the town. Atticus lives how he teaches, instilling the notion to his children to admire the good in people and forgive the bad. His idea is that we do not know what has happened to someone in their life to make them who they are so we cannot judge them. Atticus says to Scout “You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view... until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”. When Atticus is told by Scout he has been labelled a ‘nigger lover,’ instead of getting angry, he explains to her that “Nigger lover is one of those terms that don’t mean anything…ignorant, trashy people use it when they think someone favouring Negroes over and above themselves.” Scout then asks him if he ‘loves niggers’ and he replies “I do my best to love everyone.”
It can be implied that Atticus understands that if you become part of the ignorance and intolerance of both races, you can be consumed by bitterness and hated yourself. He is one of the few people of the town who understands the individual worth of a person regardless of the colour of skin. Amongst what has been described as the “playhouse of an insane child’—the Ewells house, “Amongst the fence in a line were six jars, holding brilliant red geraniums, cared for tenderly as though they were from Miss Maudie’s yard.” Miss Maudie is renowned for her love for her plants though these are Mayella Ewells, Tom Robinson’s accuser. This symbolises that good can be...