How does individual conscience conflict with public values in To Kill A Mockingbird?I need three examples or arguments to support the question.

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, there are characters who clearly "march to the beat of a different drummer."  Three such characters are Miss Maudie, Raymond Dolphus, and, of course, Atticus Finch.

Miss Maudie

In constant conflict with the sanctimonious hypocrites of her community, Miss Maudie answers the religious taunts of the fundamentalists who think that she spends too much time in her garden by quoting scripture right back to them.  At Alexandra's tea, Miss Maudie has no qualms about remarking on the hypocrisy of Mrs. Merriweather who "most charitably" donates to the Africans, but is stingy with the maid she has had for years.  For instance, after Mrs. Merriweather has cricized her maid's recent attitude since the trial approaches, saying she should be grateful for the pittance she pays her, Miss Maudie asks if Mr. Merriweather does not choke on the food.  She is also not afraid to show her support of Atticus to others.

Mr. Dolphus Raymond

Like Miss Maudie, Mr. Dolphus Raymond rides down his own path against conventional wisdom. And, he lives in the Negro section of town because he repudiates the hypocrisy of the townspeople.  But, to appease their hypocritical ways, he pretends to be a drunkard.

Mr. Atticus Finch

Ever the individual who even advocates considering others as individuals, as well, Atticus Finch goes against the norm which is that a white man who is forced to defend a Negro like Tom will only represent a Negro in the most perfunctory manner.  However, Atticus intends to do his best and to defend Tom to the best of his efforts.  He has the intention of releasing the entire truth.


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To Kill a Mockingbird

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