To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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In what way is Atticus a moral compass? How are equal rights abused in the novel, and how does Atticus effectively respond to discrimination? in To Kill a Mockingbird

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Atticus's moral compass always points to fairness and justice, although justice in that time period is skewed to whites only. He does not judge anyone, at least in front of his children. When his children want to know about something as ugly as what rape is, he gives them the formal definition (which they usually don't understand, but their curiosity is assuaged). He dealt with his children's questions about the racial situation of the time in such a way as to teach, not preach, a lesson.

There is no such thing as equal rights in the novel. Tom Robinson was denied a jury of his peers;there were no black jurors because blacks could not vote at that time. Even with definitive proof that Mayella was beaten by a left-handed person, Tom was found guilty...

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