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What are some examples to show that Atticus Finch is not prejudiced in To Kill a...

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jessicalow7 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 23, 2013 at 5:38 AM via web

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What are some examples to show that Atticus Finch is not prejudiced in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 26, 2013 at 11:10 PM (Answer #1)

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Throughout the narrative, it is apparent that Atticus Finch is without bias. As early as Chapter 3 after scolding the children about bothering Boo Radley, Atticus instructs Scout,

"You never really understand a person...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."

Further, Atticus is always polite to everyone: the poor Cunninghams as he converses with Walter at lunch, Mrs. Dubose who insults him behind his back, but he tips his hat as he walks home and speaks kindly to him, and Calpurnia, whom he defends to his sister Alexandra as a member of their family. 

When his brother Jack visits, he asks Atticus about the Tom Robinson case. Atticus explains that he hoped to escape having to take such a case;however, since he has been assigned to it, he cannot refuse it. 

"...do you think I could face my children otherwise?...I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without catching Maycomb's usual disease [implying racial bias].

In Chapter 11, Atticus scolds Scout about the use of the term n**lover, telling her that only trashy people use such words

Even after Bob Ewell is so malevolent on the witness stand and insulting to Atticus after the trial, spitting in his face, Atticus merely says that he is glad that he wasn't chewing tobacco.  And, he holds no resentment against the jurors for their verdict, optimistically perceiving Mr. Cunningham's dissenting vote as a hopeful sign that change may come to Maycomb.

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