What are quotes about Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird, chapters 16-20?  

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Chapters 16-20 in To Kill a Mockingbird cover the the day after the mob visits Atticus outside the jail through most of the Tom Robinson trial.  During this time, Atticus is dealing with disapproval from many people in Maycomb.  Many people are appalled that Atticus is defending a black man who has been accused of attacking a white woman.  Despite popular opinion against his breaking of societal norms, Atticus does not waver.  He knows in his heart that he is doing the right thing in defending Tom.

Over breakfast the day after the mob encounter, Atticus talks to his children about Walter Cunningham.  Scout and Jem are concerned that Mr. Cunningham would be a part of a mob.  Atticus shares his opinion about mobs:

"A mob's always made up of people, no matter what.  Mr. Cunningham was part of a mob last night, but he was still a man.  Every mob in every little Southern town is always made up of people you know— doesn't say much for them, does it?" (Chapter 16)

Atticus believes in empathy.  Rather than be angry at Mr. Cunningham and the mob, he sees them as a group of friends and neighbors.  This quote reveals his desire to understand people.

In Chapter 20, Atticus addresses the jury.  They have already heard the evidence from the witnesses.  Scout observes her father and notes his calm, collected disposition.  She thinks that the jury appreciates it:

We looked down again.  Atticus was speaking easily, with the kind of detachment he used when he dictated a letter.  He walked slowly up and down in front of the jury, and the jury seemed to be attentive: their heads were up, and they followed Atticus's route with what seemed to be appreciation.  I guess it was because Atticus wasn't a thunderer.

The jury pays attention to Atticus because of the way he speaks to them.  He reminds them that the courts are made to give everyone a fair chance, despite societal inequalities:

"But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal—there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president.  That institution, gentlemen, is a court.  It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve.  Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal."

Atticus notes that from the highest courts to the lowest, a fair trial gives everyone a chance to be equal.  He implores the jury to remember this as they deliberate.  This reveals the desire for justice and equality in his character.




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