Who faces the biggest conflict in Part One of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an excellent question and one that has no concrete answer. Scout faces conflicts on her first day of school with her teacher, Miss Caroline, as well as with her classmate, young Walter Cunningham. She and Jem both feel the pressure from Atticus to "stop tormenting that man," Boo Radley; and they both have to deal with the town's disapproval and racial insults concerning Atticus's decision to defend Tom Robinson. There are more conflicts involving the children than anyone else, but Atticus still has to make the biggest decision of all: whether to defend Tom Robinson or not. In Atticus's mind, he has little choice: Judge John Taylor has thrust the problem upon his shoulders, saying "You're It." Atticus has "hoped to get through life without a case of this kind," but he knows that he cannot hold his head up in town if he declines, despite the dangers it may bring him and his family. More importantly,

"... do you think I could face my children otherwise?"  (Chapter 9)

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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