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Explore The Ways In Which Lee Portrays Authority Figures In The Novel

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Introduction

Explore The Ways In Which Lee Portrays Authority Figures In The Novel In Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mocking Bird' there are a number of authority figures throughout the novel, but they are all shown very differently. I shall be exploring the ways in which Lee portrays authority figures by how they are seen and influenced over the children. Atticus is represented as the most important authority figure I shall be discussing why he is and how black people are treated by other authority figures. The children respond differently to the authority figures depending on how they are treated. It is clear from the beginning that their father Atticus Finch has a strong relationship with his children as Scout describes him to be 'satisfactory' showing the reader that she sees him as a good father. Atticus' relation with his children seems superficial in the beginning 'he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment,' however the fact that the children call him by his name, and even later, as his outlook and manner are revealed, they only point to the genuine love he has for his children. ...read more.

Middle

This was a strange reaction to Scout because Miss Caroline wanted her to stop learning from outside school, although reading came naturally to her. There was no control over the class when Walter Cunningham a pupil from a poor family had no lunch and refused to take any money from the teacher because 'they never borrowed anything they couldn't pay back' but Miss Caroline didn't understand because she came from North Alabama and was unfamiliar with Maycomb society. Scout's simple explanation about Walter Cunningham only served to irritate the teacher all the more because she is an outsider. Her use of authority failed towards the children without her understanding why it didn't work, as she didn't realise that Maycomb was so different to her hometown. In 'To Kill A Mockingbird' Atticus is an important authority figure to his children because he tries to set them an example by standing up for what he believes is right by defending Tom Robinson. ...read more.

Conclusion

which invokes the title of the book as Scout says that exposing Boo to the public eye would be 'sort of like shootin' a mockingbird'. As for Boo the authority of the law would have treated him the same as they did Tom by being one sided and without reason by not taking anything they would say into account because they are alienated. Each authority figure was portrayed to have influence over the children throughout the novel. Atticus, the main authority figure has the greatest effect on their lives. He did this by showing them what is right and teaching valuable lessons by using his intelligence. I think that there are good and bad authority figures portrayed. Atticus and Mrs Dubose are interesting characters because they show authority in different ways. In Maycomb I think that the authority in the law is unjust to those who are different like Tom Robinson and Boo Radley. Harper Lee shows authority figures in a variety of situations so Scout and Jem learn wrong from right. ...read more.

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