Mrs. BordnerPre IB English I
October 1, 2013
The Maycomb Paradox
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, a lawyer named Atticus Finch who lives in the small town of Maycomb has been assigned to a case of suspected rape. The suspect is a middle aged black man, and the “victim” is a Southern white woman. Maycomb is in a Southern state that is very biased and racist on the matter of innocence and rights of the blacks. Atticus is the father of a young girl named Scout and a young man named Jem, and he believes in the justice of his fellow man, black or white. Wanting to do what he believes to be right, Atticus defends Tom Robinson who claims to be innocent with a plausible story. This is a paradox because people in Maycomb respect Atticus, while at the same time criticize him and therefore they are contradicting themselves.
(third paragraph) The people of Maycomb criticize Atticus for standing up for Tom Robinson because they believe that every black person is worthless and guilty of many crimes. The reason some of these people are criticizing Atticus is that Atticus acts differently from everyone else. In other words, these people are criticizing Atticus for believing something that they do not believe. What Atticus believes is that “there is nothing more sickening than a low-grade white man that will take advantage of a black man’s ignorance,” and that men should be considered equal, despite the color of their