How are Atticus and Dolphus Raymond similar and how are they different in To Kill a Mockingbird?
Dolphus Raymond and Atticus Finch both come from respectable families and share certain values concerning race relations. Both characters cherish racial equality and oppose racism. It sickens both men to see African Americans cheated by white men on an everyday basis. Both men are well-known throughout their communities and are relatively successful in their respective occupations. Dolphus and Atticus both enjoy spending time with children and offer their advice to the youth throughout the novel.
Despite many of their similarities, Dolphus Raymond and Atticus Finch live drastically different lives. Atticus is respected throughout his community and even represents Maycomb in the Alabama Legislature. In contrast, Dolphus Raymond is viewed with contempt for associating with African Americans and is shunned by the community. Atticus also valiantly stands up to Maycomb's prejudice by defending Tom Robinson, while Dolphus is content to protest in silence by feigning alcoholism. Atticus has an impeccable reputation, while Dolphus is considered a disgrace for living a taboo lifestyle.
Atticus and Dolphus:
SIMILARITIES: Both enjoy the company of people regardless of their race. Both understand the cruelty of racism and its effect on people. Both have a desire to see justice. Both value the innocence of children. Both treat people the same regardless of race. Both come from families with great wealth and tradition in the region.
DIFFERENCES: Atticus uses his position, authority and actions to demonstrate his attitude toward race and justice. In that society, this threw some people for a loop. They didn't appreciate Atticus acting on his moral principles that were hard to live up to. Dolphus gives people an appearance and allows them to judge him. Faking that he is a drunk, people excuse his behavior of preferring blacks to whites as a result of his alcoholism. Atticus' life seems proper, whereas Dolphus seems to live on the edge.