In To Kill a Mockingbird, why is the town too tired to fight. but Atticus has the strength to do so?

Expert Answers
troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Not everyone in the town is too tired to fight, but a lot of them are.  Most of the town has been raised to believe that Blacks belong on the bottom rung of the social ladder.  Many of them see the Ewells as one step above the Blacks, whereas we readers know that the Ewells belong at the bottom, and Blacks shouldn't be even categorized as a separate group at all.  With that upbringing and with the Great Depression, many people didn't have the energy to fight for something they really didn't firmly believe in.

However, Atticus believed from the very beginning that all people should be created equal.  He never judged anyone by the color of his skin or by the house that he lived in.  Atticus saw people for who they were as individuals.  So he was fighting for something that was completely natural to him.  There were others in the town that backed him up completely.  To begin, Judge Taylor made sure that Atticus would have that job defending Tom.  Heck Tate wanted to make sure that the law was being followed all the way through.  Miss Maudie and Mr. Underwood were also there to support in any way they could.  Not all of the townspeople gave up--but those who did were not cut from the same "cloth" as Atticus.  That is why he is such a remarkable character in this novel.  He represents all that is good and just in a world that is often out of control.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question