What are some leadership qualities shared by Atticus Finch, in "To Kill a Mockingbird," and Martin Luther King, Jr.?

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dbello eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The leadership qualities shared by Atticus Finch and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stem from their belief that the law must include morality. Atticus Finch is unwavering in his stance regarding his client's "right" to a fair trial, regardless of color. Dr. King's philosophy regarding law was that it had to be administered to all Americans fairly. If the law was misused it was up to the individual to stand up to that misuse. The idea that they both promoted their philosophy through non-violence also indicates tremendous leadership. Atticus becomes very angry towards the men in the town as they rally to the jail with sticks in hand, but he refuses to engage them. Dr. King used the tactic of civil disobedience, non violent resistence to accomplish the same end. In refusing violence both men force their adversaries to "think" about their actions.

reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Both Atticus and Martin Luther King, Jr. are moral, strong, and courageous men. Both men were well educated and held positions in the community where they could work for the betterment of mankind. Both men stood up against racism; Atticus in his defense of Tom Robinson and Martin Luther King Jr. for the rights of all African Americans. Both men struggled in the South. Maycomb, Alabama is the setting of "To Kill A Mockingbird" and Martin Luther king Jr. spent most of his time in the Southern states, especially Selma, Alabama, where racism was at its worst. Both men stood up for what was morally right whether or not it meant putting oneself at personal risk. Atticus is shunned by the town. Unfortunately, our real-life hero was assassinated.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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