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Theme Of Humility In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Mary Sarton explains that,”One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being”. In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the more prominent figures in the book is the father of Scout and Jem, Atticus Finch. He serves as the voice of reason for the audience, his children, and himself. He gives life lessons to both Scout and Jem that shape who they are as a person, especially towards the end of the novel with the encounter of Bob Ewell and Boo Radley. Throughout the novel, Atticus symbolizes the virtue of humility. These traits are especially prevalent in the events of the rabid dog, the encounter with Mr. Ewell after court, and the death of Mr. Ewell. First off, what exactly is the virtue of humility? The virtue…show more content…
Even though Heck Tate tries to convince that Mr. Ewell’s death is self-inflicted, Atticus insists that Jem should go to court as if this is like any other case. He continues to bicker with Heck Tate by explaining that, “...if they don’t trust me they won’t trust anybody. Jem and Scout know what happened. If they hear of me saying downtown something different happened- Heck, I won’t have them any more. I can’t live one way in town and another way in my home” (Lee 367). Atticus is willing to put Jem on trial in order to teach his children that lies will only lead to disloyalty and deception. He does not want disloyalty to run through the family, so, when the time comes, he sets an example by telling the truth. No secrets or lies to hide from himself, his family, or the townspeople. Jones supports Atticus’s honest nature by saying that, “Reflection gives us humility, forces us to confront our own frailties and limitations; and compassion helps us love…”(Jones 152-153). In this situation Atticus has to confront his lawyer and father side; however, his decision tells readers that he still cares about Jem through his honest nature. Ultimately, Atticus would rather tell the truth and put his son on trial rather than let lies fester and develop into rumors in the small town of Maycomb because it is the right decision to
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