Describe What Happens At Finch's Landing
What is Finch's Landing in To Kill a Mockingbird?
Finch’s Landing is the Finch family compound. It was founded by the first Finch to leave the old country to come to America, Simon Finch.
It was customary for the men in the family to remain on Simon's homestead, Finch's Landing, and make their living from cotton. (ch 1)
Finch’s Landing is along the river, and is a nearly self-sufficient plantation. What the plantation does not produce is shipped down the river from Mobile.
During the Civil War, the Finch family lost everything but their land, so Finch’s Landing is very important to the family.
Atticus Finch was the first Finch to break tradition by leaving Finch’s Landing. He went to study law, and then put his brother through medical school. Atticus settled in Maycomb, twenty miles east of Finch’s Landing.
Atticus insists on going to Finch’s Landing every Christmas.
Finch's Landing consisted of three hundred and sixty-six steps down a high bluff and ending in a jetty. (ch 9)
The house is reached by a “two-rut road” leading to “a two-storied white house with porches circling it upstairs and downstairs” (ch 9). The house is elaborately built like most Southern plantation houses, allegedly to please Simon Finch’s wife.
Atticus no longer lives at the Landing, but his sister Alexandra and her husband Jimmy do, along with their son Frances (a year younger than Scout).
The Finches are an important family, because they have had their land for so long. The land lends them prestige and importance in the community. This matters a lot to Alexandra, but less to Atticus.
Simon Finch's cotton plantation, Finch's Landing, is a significant piece of Finch family history that might illuminate Atticus's attitude towards race and relationships in his community of Maycomb.
The reader can infer from Scout's adult-voiced narration that, Finch's Landing has been an important place for the Finch family. The family's American story begins on this piece of land, and the family home is described in impressive language, which must mean that the plantation was a success. This success can be credited to Simon Finch's efficient management of the slaves that worked the cotton fields, but some acknowledgement must be made of the slaves who did the physical labor.
Atticus has had a good education and his family has had a stable place in Alabama society thanks to both Simon Finch and thanks to the slaves; therefore, Atticus, who appears to have a powerful conscience, would have good reason to want to treat black men and women properly and with respect. Without them, Finch's Landing simply would not have existed.