To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
Start Your Free Trial

In "To Kill a Mockingbird," how does Atticus quietly protest Jim Crow laws even before Tom Robinson's trial?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,901 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Atticus quietly protests the Jim Crow laws by teaching his children to put themselves in other people's shoes. This lesson applies to everyone, but especially to members of Maycomb's African-American community like Tom Robinson, who goes before the court on trumped-up charges of rape and assault.

Atticus recognizes that no one is born a racist; people become that way through their environment and upbringing. He understands, therefore, the need to instill his children with the right set of values, to make them understand that racial inequality is just plain wrong. He leads by example, acting as a role model for Scout and Jem to follow. That they do indeed follow his example is a testament to the subtly effective way that Atticus challenges the Jim Crow laws and the racial hatred on which they are based.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2015

write10,323 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Atticus quietly protests Jim Crow culture before the Tom Robinson trial by completely rejecting the prejudiced ideologies of his community members and treating black people equally. Atticus's...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 557 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write858 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

check Approved by eNotes Editorial