What is Atticus's view of Maycomb according to Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird? 

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus obviously feels at home in Maycomb, since his lawyering skills could have made him a success in any location he may have chosen. He prefers to live in his native county eeking out a modest living while serving the people he loves as their representative to the state legislature.

... Atticus derived a reasonable income from the law. He liked Maycomb, he was Maycomb County born and bred; he knew his people, they knew him, and because of Simon Finch's ancestry, Atticus was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family in the town. (Chapter 1)

Atticus tries to treat all people fairly, be they black or white, rich or poor. He puts his faith in the poor farming people of Old Sarum, trusting Walter Cunningham to pay for his legal representation even if it takes months and ends up as agricultural goods. He believes in the honesty of the Cunninghams enough to stand up to them alone at the jail, and he allows one of them to remain on the jury on the "hunch" that he had earned their respect enough to win their crucial vote. Atticus believes that any white man who cheats a black man "is trash," and the black community displays its respect for the man when they stand in unison as he leaves the courtroom. Atticus shows his own gratitude for them when "his eyes filled with tears" after receiving gifts of food after the trial.

Atticus is aware that the jury "couldn't possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson's word against the Ewells', and that many people in the town suffer from "Maycomb's usual disease"--racism. But he still has faith that the jury will "do your duty" and he recognizes that they are "twelve reasonable men in everyday life." He considers the long jury deliberation "the shadow of a beginning" for Maycomb's future; and at the end of the novel, he reminds Scout that "Most people are [nice], Scout, when you finally see them." 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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