How would one best approach an essay based on Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird focusing on the topic of conflict, and why individuals may find it hard to remain neutral?I need to write an essay...

How would one best approach an essay based on Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird focusing on the topic of conflict, and why individuals may find it hard to remain neutral?

I need to write an essay and am finding it hard to find examples in the book of when it is difficult to remain neutral at times of conflict.

I have the following examples from To Kill a Mockingbird:

-Atticus decides to defend Tom Robinson, rather than remaining neutral and watching the case

-Judge Taylor tries to remain neutral in the case, but the Jury otherwise favour Bob Ewell's side, thus giving the verdict that Tom is guilty

Asked on by tehnewbie

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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One approach might be to focus exclusively on your first statement about Atticus and discard your second one about Judge Taylor.  From there, you can develop a theme based on Atticus's decision to take the case and what it cost him to do so.  It will not be difficult to locate evidence to expand on this idea.  There are passages when Atticus  explains to Scout and Jem why he must take the case, counseling them (particularly Scout) on how he expects them to behave regardless of what others say, and there are passages when the children overhear him discussing difficulties of the case with others.

Atticus did not have a choice when he was assigned to defend Tom Robinson; what upset so many of the less evolved townspeople was that Atticus planned to do his best to defend Robinson, when he could easily have sat back, presented a few bits of information, and let the jury convict Robinson because he was black, which everyone, including Atticus, knew it would do.  So from this perspective, because he was beaten before he started and he did his best anyway, one could look at the negative talk that was directed toward him and his kids before and during the trial, and the hateful consequences dispensed by Bob Ewell that nearly resulted in the death of his children after the trial. 

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