Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mocking Bird is an Accommodator Not an Activist

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In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is a lawyer who defends Tom Robinson, an African American man, against the Ewell family in court. Malcolm Gladwell is the writer of “The Courthouse Ring: Atticus Finch and the limits of Southern Liberalism”, where he discusses that Atticus Finch is an activist. Lance McMillian responds to Malcolm Gladwell’s critique of Atticus in “Atticus Finch as Racial Accommodator: Answering Gladwell’s Critique”, where overall he says that Atticus is not an accommodator but an activist. Lance McMillan's view of Atticus Finch is incorrect compared to Malcolm Gladwell because Atticus is an accommodator by not fighting against institutional racism. Malcolm Gladwell says Atticus is an accommodator and Lance…show more content…
In To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus tells Scout that if he had not took the case he wouldn't be able to hold his head up in town again, this means that Atticus would feel guilty for not helping a man in need. He also takes the case because his children look up to him for guidance and he thinks they will no longer look up to him for not helping Tom. Malcolm Gladwell is right because Atticus Finch does not help stop institutional racism or take the Tom Robinson case for the right reason. Lance McMillian is incorrect due to the fact that Atticus is not an activist. Atticus is a Christian but it does not explain how he is an activist. An activist continues to fight the unjust laws and wants to help fix the problem. In this case is the problem is the discrimination for African Americans in Maycomb. All Atticus does is represent Tom Robinson he does nothing more. After the trial he does not try to fix the way people treat African Americans, Atticus only respects them. Also, Atticus took this case so his own children won’t think less of him and because he would feel guilty. Atticus is not and activist he is and accommodator, therefor Lance McMillan's view is wrong. In summation, Atticus Finch is an accommodator not an activist, proving Malcolm Gladwell’s view correct and Lance McMillan's view incorrect. Harper Lee illustrates Atticus Finch as a hero but he is not. Atticus would be a hero if he was an activist fighting the unjust laws but he does not.

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