Atticus Finch – Unwritten Laws
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Maycomb County, a fictional area in Alabama, is just like any other city in the United States. This county has many people who go on the side of codes not on the side of the law. To Kill a Mockingbird, was written by Harper Lee. In today’s society, people make up codes just to make life easier for them and not to get into fights with anyone. In this book, the Ewells kid does not go to school more than one day and Atticus tries to overcome one of the nation wide codes. The judge decides to go with the code and not the law of Mr. Tom Robinsons case.
Burris Ewell, a poor boy in the Ewell family, has his own code. He only has to go to school for only the first day of the year. The law says every kid has to go to school. Since Burris is an Ewell, no one turns him into the authority. “They come first day every year and then leave (Lee 36).” This was said by one of the elderly kids of Scouts and the Burris’ first grade class. The Truant officer tried to make the older Ewell kids to go to school, but she just quit. Everyone in the county knows it is illegal, but no one does anything about it. If anyone went to the authorities, it would make their own lives a lot more difficult because you would have all of the lower class mad at them.
Atticus Finch, a white male in Maycomb County, goes against the universal code, whites are better than whites. Mr. Finch was a lawyer who decided to take Tom Robinsons accused rape case out of pride. “If I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again (Lee 100).” Atticus was answer a question from scout when he said this. Atticus is saying that if he did not take the case of Tom Robinson, it would not morally right. He went against the nation wide code and decided to go with the law. He figured out that in court, he would have a fair chance to win this case. Since this happened during the 1950’s, a time of segregation, he had no chance at all to help Tom Robinson. Mr. Finch decided to go with his conscience and help defend a black man accused for rape.
In a suppose room of justice and equality, you need a non-bias person or people to make the final decision. In Tom Robinsons’ trial, there was an all white and male jury and judge. At this time in history, blacks or women were not able to participate in a big trial. Tom Robinson, being a black male, had no chance with all of the jury and judge. Even though Atticus knew he had no chance at all, he went against the code and helped this desperate man in desperate times. The all white jury decided to use the code over the law in the courthouse, a room of justice. “guilty…guilty…guilty…guilty…(Lee 282).” This was said when Judge Taylor was reading the decisions of the jury. Even though Atticus and Tom had all the right to win the case, the jury made life easier on themselves and decided to declare Tom guilty just because he was black. If this trial happened in the 21st century, the outcome would be a lot different because it is not as racist and the jury would consist on non-bias people. Since the jury decided to side on the code and not the law, they put an innocent man into jail.
Most of the time, making life easier for yourself happens when you do the wrong thing but go with the rest of the community. Even though this code is wrong, there are always people, like Atticus Finch, who do the right thing, even if it makes life more difficult for them. Reader of this book benefits knowing that do what the right thing to do, not what the rest of the world does. Maycomb County has many people who go on the side of codes not on the side of the law.