What is Power as depicted in To Kill a Mockingbird story

December 9, 2020 by Essay Writer

Power is a word we hear frequently and use often; it means to have the capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events. My definition of power is possessing something others want such as money, knowledge, and strength.

In the story To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch has power and people look up to him. Atticus is an intelligent lawyer who is a leader in his community. He is an independent thinker who has moral courage. He uses expert power to help people through hard cases and in this case he is helping Mr. Robinson, an innocent man falsely accused of raping Bob Ewell’s daughter, Mayella Ewell. Atticus uses his admiration and power from the people in his community to try and save Tom Robinson from his false rape allegations. Atticus chooses to represent Mr. Robinson when he could have let him be falsely accused. When everyone is against him, he does not listen to them and defends the man anyway. He teaches his children to respect others, to think on their own, and to do the right thing. For example, when Walter Cunningham, a poor farmer and mobster, tries to give Mr. Robinson an unfair trial, Atticus tells him and his men to leave the court house. The men listen and leave; this is because he has a higher power over them and the men respect that. Atticus wants to defend this man because he believes he is innocent and will not let someone be falsely accused because of the color of their skin.

Bob Ewell is a man that is rejected in society and has no power. No one knows him and he is in need of a voice in the community and takes the opportunity as soon as it appears. When his daughter starts to flirt with a married black man, Mr. Robinson, he tells the police he raped her. The man is sent to court and Atticus becomes his lawyer. During court, Atticus showcases three main points in proving Mr. Robinson’s innocence. First, he starts by telling the people in the courtroom what actually happened that night at Mayella’s house. She was a white woman and she seduced a black man. Next, Atticus states that Mayella’s father was left handed and then pointed out the marks on the right side of Mayella’s face. The last thing he says is that all men are created equal in a courtroom. Later, the jurors come back and the Mr. Robinson is found guilty. As Atticus leaves, a group of African Americans show their respects for him and thank him for trying. Although Atticus lost the case, it still represented power because if he was not there, Mr. Robinson would not have had a change at all. Atticus had influence on the jurors, but because of the man’s skin color they just could not say he was innocent.

To have something others desire or to have influence over another person means you have power. In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch has power and he uses it in his attempt to save an innocent man’s life. Although he does not win the case, he still shows power because he influenced the jury to give a second look at the man’s case. If a large amount or community of people looked up to you and you have an influence on what they do or don not do, would you use it to help someone?

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