How is the quote,"the one thing that doesnt abide by majority rule is a person's conscience" used throughout the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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This quote is significant because throughout the book some people act the way they think is right, even if others disagree.

Atticus is the person who says that a person’s conscience does not have to abide by majority rule.  He tells Scout this in response to her asking him why he is doing something so many people disagree with.

"Atticus, you must be wrong...."

"How's that?"

"Well, most folks seem to think they're right and you're wrong...." (ch 11)

Atticus does not care that other people think Tom Robinson does not deserve a defense because he is a Negro.  Atticus always listens to his own conscience, and does not bow down to peer pressure.

Atticus is not the only character who follows his conscience when it’s not popular.  Heck Tate and Judge Taylor also support Atticus.  Miss Maudie speaks her mind, and does not care who listens.  Boo Radley stands up for the children even when it means possible suffering himself.

Another excellent example of this principle is Mr. Dolphus Raymond, the man who married a Negro wife and has half-white children.  He pretends to be drunk so that others can excuse away his actions, when in reality he prefers the company of Negros and loves his wife.