To Kill A Mockingbird is a novel set in the 1930s in Alabama about a small town white lawyer, Atticus Finch, who is assigned to defend a black man, Tom Robinson, accused of rape. Both are fathers with different economic backgrounds who live in the same town, but live in very different positions in society.
Atticus Finch is an attorney by profession who is a highly respected citizen. He lives in the wealthier part of town and is the father of two children. Atticus is put in a difficult position that will not only affect him, but his friends and family. Atticus is a gentle soft spoken man who displays a high degree of morality in everything he does. He is honest and educated. When he faces the challenge of defending a black man in a prejudiced society, he demonstrates his compassion towards men of all colors and the courage to face and deal with people who are ignorant and mean spirited.
Tom Robinson is poor black man who works as a laborer on a farm in a small town where he is not treated as an equal. Tom is a family man with children who works hard from sun up to sundown with little to no pay. He lives in the poorest part of town on a dirt road. Tom is large in size, but has a calm and charitable nature about him. When Tom is accused of a crime he has not committed he demonstrates courage and honesty in court and with his testimony. He has become a victim of prejudice and inequality, yet remains kind and polite.
One could say that there are many comparisons and contrasts between these two characters. You could almost imagine them as equals if they lived in modern day where both had equal opportunities for education and constitutional rights.