Various community members comment on Atticus Finch's character throughout the novel. The majority of the racist citizens believe that Atticus is wrong for defending Tom Robinson and have negative things to say about him. In chapter 9, Cecil Jacobs reiterates his parents' comments regarding Atticus by telling Scout,
"My folks said your daddy was a disgrace an‘ that nigger oughta hang from the water-tank!" (Lee 79).
Scout's cousin also reiterates his grandmother's negative comments regarding Atticus by telling Scout,
Just what I said. Grandma says it’s bad enough he lets you all run wild, but now he’s turned out a nigger-lover we’ll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb agin. He’s ruinin‘ the family, that’s what he’s doin’. (Lee, 85)
In chapter 11, Mrs. Dubose also expresses her negative feelings regarding Atticus by telling his children,
"Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for" (Lee, 105).
Despite the many citizens who dislike Atticus, there is also a faction of community members who support and respect him. As the citizens are taking their seats to watch Tom Robinson's trial, Scout overhears the men of the Idler's Club comment on her father's intelligence. They say,
"Atticus Finch’s a deep reader, a mighty deep reader" (Lee, 165).
When Scout takes Dill out of the courtroom to settle him down, she has a conversation with Dolphus Raymond, who elaborates on the prejudice throughout Maycomb's community. He comments on Atticus's character by telling Scout,
I don’t reckon it’s—Miss Jean Louise, you don’t know your pa’s not a run-of-the-mill man, it’ll take a few years for that to sink in—you haven’t seen enough of the world yet. (Lee, 205)
Following the trial, Miss Maudie shows her support and respect for Atticus by telling Jem and Scout,
I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them...We’re so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we’ve got men like Atticus to go for us." (Lee, 219)