What are some quotes of people talking trash about Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus's respect among the people of Maycomb is too great for much "trash-talking" to exist about him. There are a few scattered negative remarks about him made during the course of the novel; however, most of the townspeople are courteous enough not to make them within the earshot of Scout (the narrator) and Jem.

     Although we heard no more about the Finch family from Aunt Alexandra, we heard plenty from the town... "There's his chillun," or "Yonder's some Finches." Turning to face our accusers, we would only see a couple of farmers studying the enema bags in the Mayco Drugstore window.  (Chapter 14)

Maycomb children were not immune. Cousin Francis calls Atticus a "nigger-lover," and Cecil Jacobs tells Scout that

"My folks said your daddy was a disgrace an' that nigger oughta hang from the water tank."  (Chapter 9)

On the day of the trial, the children overhear some unflattering remarks from several members of the Idlers' Club.

     "... thinks he knows what he's doing," one said.
     "Oh-h now, I wouldn't say that," said another. "Atticus Finch's a deep reader, a mighty deep reader."  (Chapter 16)

Miss Caroline ignorantly tells Scout that "Your father does not know how to teach," and Alexandra complains about his poor parenting skills. Bob Ewell obviously cares little for Atticus. He calls Atticus a "nigger-lovin' bastard" and threatens to kill him. After Bob is fired from his job, he blames Atticus; and after Tom Robinson died, Bob declared that it was "one down and about two more to go."

lv1997 | Student

"My folks said your daddy was a disgrace an' that nigger oughta hang from the water tank." (Chapter 9)

"He's nothin' but a nigger-lover!"- Francis (Chapter 9)

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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