To Kill a Mockingbird
Choose a character out of the novel; describe the characters personality and placement in the novel.
Answer the following questions:
– How does the character relate to the Finch family?
– How does the Finch family feel about the character?
– Why do they respond to the character like this?
(Silke Losch, Calantha Lyle, Hayley Slade and Elonie Taylor.)
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird’ written by Harper Lee the Finch family are known in Maycomb County by everyone, whether through their eyes it’s for a good reason or bad reason. The Finches are very important to the novel as they have a lot to do with the issues bought up during the novel. Mr Atticus Finch is an individual in the way he forsees things and in the way he brings up his children, showing them right from wrong. The Finch family stood out from the crowd of Maycomb County and were very open minded to what was going on in the 1930’s, which was a time where blacks were looked down on by whites. The Finches stood up for what was right and them doing so has made this novel very significant as many people of that era were hated by many for standing up for themselves and for what’s wrong. The Finches didn’t judge, they were loved and respected by many, they weren’t racist and most importantly they would never kill a mockingbird. The Finches proved Maycomb County’s ways of segregation wrong, that blacks and whites are created equal and should be treated equal. Many learned from their experiences with the Finches.
Tom Robinson was one of many people of Maycomb County who experienced the presence of the Finches in their lives. Mr Finch played a large part in Tom’s life as it was his job to make it a clear point to the court that Tom was an innocent man and so Tom (unlike many black people) wouldn’t fall victim to the hating and wrongful judging of the whites. Tom respected Atticus and Atticus respected Tom, with this in concept it made it hard for the Finches to be respected by the whites but Atticus did what was right and stood by Tom all the way. Tom was very grateful and this created a great bond between Tom Robinson and the Finches.
Tom Robinson was a man who respected others and had good moral standards. He was a truthful man and always helped those who were in need. For his kindness he was repaid with the judging eye of the whites and it cost him his life. You’re a mighty good fellow, it seems- did all this for not one penny?’ He died in prison when he should have been a free man. He is seen as a man of truth, love and dignity. Tom Robinson was an innocent man who told the truth throughtout his trial while the whites lied just so they could see a grateful, kind, helpful man pay the price for their wrongdoing and all because he had different coloured skin.
Tom became a major part of the Finches lives and was of great importance to the novel. All did not approve of him, but the Finches did. The Finches put their lives and reputation at risk by doing what Atticus knew was the right thing to do, which was to save this innocent man from the cruelty of segregation. Atticus Finch knew he could not help himself unless he helped Tom Robinson and he stuck by his word and set the right example to his children with Tom by his side and himself by Tom’s side. Not only did Atticus have a good relationship of respect and friendship with Tom but so did Jem and Scout. The Finch children got teased about this relationship and had racist remarks thrown at them like Nigger-lover!’ This was hurtful, but Tom was too respected for them not to have enough strength to stand for what they believed in. The finches never saw Tom as a Negro but a man. Mr Finch doesn’t treat them like that.’
The Finches related to Tom as a person and became very close to him they never once regretted their choice of standing up for him in court. The Finches encounter many dangers as a result of standing up for Tom and never backed down but this just proved how true the Finches were towards Tom. Although Tom passed away he still respected he and his family and stayed true to what was right.
Tom Robinson was a very important person in the Finches lives and had changed the way of living for them forever. It made Jem and Scout gain respect for those who are people even though the stereotypical judging of the whites in Maycomb County believe blacks don’t deserve the respect of whites. Throughout the whole novel negativity is shown towards the blacks but that one person stood out from the crowd and stood for what was morally right and kept on standing no matter how many times he got blown with hits after hits of hate and negativity against what he believed in. For that era the blacks were seen as the bad people in the world but in fact it was the majority of the white people who were the evil on the earth making life uneasy and stressful for those different to them. It was the whites who killed the mockingbird.