What are some quotes from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird that depict prejudiced attitudes towards Atticus?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Throughout the novel, Atticus Finch is subjected to criticism by the prejudiced community members of Maycomb for his decision to defend Tom Robinson. Atticus is even targeted and ridiculed by his own family members. In Chapter 9, Francis Hancock tells Scout,

"I guess it ain’t your fault if Uncle Atticus is a nigger-lover besides, but I’m here to tell you it certainly does mortify the rest of the family—" (Lee 52).

Francis' comment depicts his family's negative views of Atticus. Francis' grandmother, Aunt Alexandra, believes that Atticus is ruining the family's reputation by defending a black man.

Scout and Jem are even subjected to derogatory comments aimed at their father by racist community members. In Chapter 11, Mrs. Dubose tells the children,

"Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for!" (Lee 64).

Mrs. Dubose's comment is prejudiced towards Atticus and portrays her unapologetic, racist beliefs.

During Aunt Alexandra's missionary circle, Mrs. Merriweather indirectly criticizes Atticus for defending Tom Robinson. She says,

"I tell you there are some good but misguided people in this town. Good, but misguided. Folks in this town who think they’re doing right, I mean. Now far be it from me to say who, but some of ’em in this town thought they were doing the right thing a while back, but all they did was stir ’em up. That’s all they did" (Lee 141).

Mrs. Merriweather is prejudiced against Atticus because she feels that his beliefs are misguided and harmful. She does not support Atticus' effort to defend Tom Robinson.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question