ARiesett “Cultural Terrorism and Justice”

There is a thin line between the “good guys” and the “bad guys”. In many instances the good guys can be considered the bad guys and vice versa depending on the perspective of the situation.  For example, Atticus Finch in the book To Kill A Mockingbird is viewed as both a good guy and a bad guy in Maycomb county Alabama. He is a lawyer that exhibits the prime example of a folk hero. He defends Tom Robinson, an African American, charged with raping a 19 year old lower class white girl. Everyone in town considered Atticus to be a respectable man until he started defending Robinson. That is when some townsmen started to consider him as the bad guy because he was trying to win the trial for Robinson. No white man ever loses a trial to an African American during this time period. In a way, Atticus was also a cultural hero because he was before his time and fighting against the cultural norms of Maycomb County.  Since Atticus is living outside the cultural laws of his society, he is considered a folk hero. Also, Atticus is a folk hero because he champions the weak, Tom Robinson. He is a normal everyday townsman of Maycomb County whose life is transformed by his decision to defend Robinson.

The risk for Atticus defending Robinson is his family. He has two children to look out for and does not want to cause them harm. He also is perceived as disgracing his family’s name. He sacrifices these chances for the good of mankind and to do what he knows is right in getting justice. After Robinson is found guilty by the jury, Atticus’s children starts to question what justice is and why there is terrorism in Maycomb. The terrorism in Maycomb and the whole state of Alabama is the white people terrorizing the colored people by not allowing them equal rights and justice. For example according to the law of Alabama, Robinson is sentenced to the death penalty for rape because he is colored; whereas if Robinson was white, he would get up to 20 or 30 years in prison for the same crime.

I think Harper Lee, the author of To Kill A Mockingbird, wants the audience to relate to Atticus’s character and see the unjustice of Maycomb County. The audience is supposed to want to defend Tom Robinson and bring him justice. Lee wants the audience to stand up for their beliefs and seek justice just as Atticus did.

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This entry was posted in Blog 8 (Jan 15) Terrorists? Outlaw? Justice?. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

3 Comments

  1. Posted January 15, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoyed your post. I completely agree that Maycomb county is the terrorist in To Kill A Mockingbird. This book shows how ideas don’t die just like V for Vendetta showed. The people in this county are sick with the idea of racism and that causes all the injustices we see in the book. Until people are cured from infectious, unjust ideas the world will never be a better place.

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  2. Posted January 15, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I agree that Maycomb county is the terrorist in To Kill a Mockingbird. You have some very interesting points in this post.

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  3. Posted January 15, 2013 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    This was a really interesting post. That fact that he tried to stand up for justice actually presented him as evil in the eyes of the people from Maycomb County. His heroism is overshadowed by living in a community filled with racism and discrimination.

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  1. By ARiesett on January 6, 2021 at 2:51 pm

    Brad Carpenter

    I found a great…

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