Is Atticus a success or a failure in To Kill a Mockingbird?I need some information for both; for example, Atticus is a success because..., Atticus is also a failure because..., Overall, Atticus is...

Is Atticus a success or a failure in To Kill a Mockingbird?

I need some information for both; for example, Atticus is a success because..., Atticus is also a failure because..., Overall, Atticus is a _______ because...,. I also need quotes helping to prove each of the statements above.


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

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Atticus is a success because he raised two mature, responsible, compassionate kids and he got the people of Maycomb to think about race differently.  He is also a failure because he did not get Tom Robinson acquitted.  On balance, Atticus is more of a success because he made progress toward racial justice.

Atticus’s success can be measured only based on what you mean by success.  His biggest challenge in the book is the Tom Robison trial, but since there was no way he could win we cannot really count his loss as a failure.  The fact that the jury deliberated shows his success.

"I don't know, but they did it. They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it again and when they do it - seems that only children weep. Good night." (ch 22)

Atticus also has a victory because Jem is weeping.  Jem clearly was raised with a strong moral conscience.  He has also seen his father do something heroic, even if it was not easy.  The kitchen full of food demonstrates how grateful the black population was to him.

Miss Maudie also reminds Jem and Scout that Atticus accomplished a great feat in getting the jury to deliberate at all.

Atticus Finch won't win, he can't win, but he's the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that. And I thought to myself, well, we're making a step-it's just a baby-step, but it's a step." (ch 12)

In some ways, Atticus does fail, but he does not fail the people of Maycomb.  He is the town’s moral center.

Sources:

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