Atticus's Conscience In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, reveals how listening to one's conscience can show strength while giving into to society's expectations can show weakness. Atticus shows his strength by not giving into society's popular belief that white people are better than black people. He explains to Scout his feelings when a white man cheats a black man. He says, "Whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash" (252.) By following his conscience, Atticus remains true to himself and his children which is hard to do in such a polarized society. Atticus knows that his actions will affect Jem and Scout, so he tries his very best to turn away…show more content…
She grew up in a time when girls were always expected to act feminine. Scout happens to be the opposite; she gets into fist fights, enjoys playing with boys, and prefers to wear overalls. In chapter 9, Scout proves this by proclaiming, "I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well" (93.) Even though she grows up in an era where acting boyish as a girl is shunned upon she continues to have confidence in being herself. On the contrary to Atticus and Scout, Dolphus and Mayella show weakness by giving into society's social norms. The town of Maycomb is so prejudiced that Dolphus puts on a façade because he is fearful of being ostracized. On page 228, Dolphus explains to Scout why he fakes being a drunk. He says, "Folks can say Dolphus Raymond's in the clutches of whiskey-that's why he won't change his ways." In other words, while he knowingly married a black woman, he acts drunk to pretend that he didn't deliberately try to follow society's "rule" of not marrying a black person. By doing so, he is protecting his true identity. Like Dolphus, Mayella Ewell also puts on façade. Ironically, she is so scared to admit that she is in love with a black man that she
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