To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

How is human dignity portrayed in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers info

Rose Blackburn eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2018

write404 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Social Sciences

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee portrays human dignity through the choices made by the characters. For example, Atticus makes a choice to defend a black man to the best of his ability in spite of many citizens feeling strongly he should do otherwise. Atticus also chooses to look past the hurtful comments he and his children receive as a result of his choice. It is his decision to continue along the path of doing what is right over doing what is comfortable that shows dignity.

In contrast, consider Bob Ewell. His decisions are made in attempts to do what is comfortable and convenient above what is right or true. Upon finding...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 337 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


check Approved by eNotes Editorial

asorrell eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2006

write90 answers

starTop subject is Literature

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2007

write2,654 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial


jkloss10 | Student

Atticus Finch is characterized as a self-respecting, compassionate man who understands that even though human beings can make negative choices, those choices do not completely define them. He looks for the good in people and chooses to focus on those characteristics. His ability to see the worth in all people is reflected in the values he instills in Scout and Jem, his decision to defend Tom, and his understanding of the recluse, Boo Radley. Atticus believes that all people deserve dignity and respect. He models this in his interactions with other characters. A clear example would be concerning Mrs. Dubose who the children view an unkind racist. Atticus, instead, chooses to focus on and admire the strength she exhibits in fighting her addiction to morphine.

Photo Credit: http://www.duhaime.org/LegalDictionary/H/HumanDignity.aspx