What Romanticism characteristics can we see in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Aside from individualism, one classic characteristic of Romanticism is the belief in the inherent goodness of man and children. Rather than believing all of mankind is naturally evil, Romantics believe mankind is naturally good, but the urban lifestyle hampers that goodness.

In To Kill a Mockingbird, we see author Harper Lee reflect this Romantic view in the beliefs of Atticus, who asserts that all people are generally good. One clear example of his belief can be found in his assessments of Walter Cunningham. The morning after facing the lynch mob led by Walter Cunningham, Scout feels very confused about how to judge Cunningham as a person and asks her father, "I thought Mr. Cunningham was a fried of ours. You told me a long time ago he was" (Chapter 16). Atticus replies, "He still is," and gives his daughter an explanation about Walter Cunningham's character that reveals Atticus's belief in the general goodness of people:

Mr. Cunningham's basically a good man... he just has his blind spots along with the rest of us (Chapter 16).

If we were to relate Cunningham's character to Romanticism, we might argue Cunningham is a good person when out on his farm but becomes influenced by the racial prejudices commonly found in the urban society in Maycomb. These racial prejudices that drove him to want to lynch Tom Robinson.

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