• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Comparative Essay between Atticus Finch and John Proctor as Men of Conscience

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Comparative Essay between Atticus Finch and John Proctor as Men of Conscience Both fictional characters, John Proctor from Arthur Miller's play "The Crucible" and Atticus Finch from Harper Lee's novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" are considered to be men of conscience. A man of conscience is one who is aware of his moral and ethical judgements or pronouncements and has a strong desire to prefer right over wrong. His life his ruled by his desire of seeking truth and justice in all that surrounds him and within himself. These attributes are displayed by both characters throughout their stories. In Arthur Miller's The Crucible; a play set in 17th century Salem a small town in Massachusetts burdened by the mad hunts for nonexistent witches, we are introduced to the character John Proctor. What differentiates John from the other inhabitants of Salem is that he refuses to hand over his good conscience, even if his life is on the line. This means that John would never accuse another as a witch to save himself. Proctor is aware that he has sinned against the morals of the time, due to his affair with Abigail, a devious and dissembling girl of 17. "He is a sinner, a sinner not only against the moral fashion but against his own vision of decent conduct." ...read more.

Middle

It is a tale about knowledge, innocence, prejudice and courage. This novel introduces us to another man of conscience, Atticus Finch, a lawyer and caring father. He is an intelligent man, who has the ability see past the ill in anyone. Much like Proctor, his great wisdom and conscience grants him respect from everyone in the town, even though he is criticized by most of the town members for his unprejudiced attitude towards negros. According to the character Mrs Maudie "Atticus is a man who does for other people the unpleasant things that they have to do". He is a man of justice and will fight for a cause even if he is positive that he will be beaten in the end. He also tries his best to convey these values to his children. In the novel, Atticus accepts the responsibility to undertake the Tom Robinson case and to defend him to the best of his ability. Atticus does this as he can understand the individual worth of someone regardless of their colour; he believes that all people are equal and tries to focus on the good part of everyone. It is this attitude that allows him to tolerate Bob Ewell who means to hurt him. This point is justified in Atticus's words "I try my best to love everyone". ...read more.

Conclusion

Atticus defends Tom Robinson at the risk of his and his children's safety, to show the community that negros are equal to Whites and have the right to enjoy social respect and justice. He does this to show that the law should be free of all prejudice, "The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any colour of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box." Whilst Proctor's concern for justice outstrips his concern for his reputation when he confesses to having an affair with Abigail, John Procter says "I have known her sir! I have known her". By telling the truth about his affair it shows that Abigail is making false accusations of Elizabeth harming her so that she can be with John. He did this so he could prove that Abigail has dissembled the town by naming nonexistent witches, the result of justifying that Abigail is a fibber would be that all the people accused of witchcraft would be released, therefore helping the community. In conclusion, both John Proctor (towards the end of the play) and Atticus Finch are ideal paradigms of men of conscience regardless of their differences. This is shown by their moral and ethical judgements and pronouncements and their ability to prefer right over wrong. Their correct deeds and behaviour make them renowned as respectable and influential individuals in their communities. ?? ?? ?? ?? Page 1 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Extended Essay

    Yazar "yüksek topuklar" metaforunda kadinlarin bir anlamda erkeklerle ayni boyda olmak istemelerini, onlarla "boy ölçüsmeye" kalktiklarini söylemeye çalismaktadir. Ancak gerçekte bu topuklarla Sedef Kunter 000755032 yürümek, kosmak, erkekler gibi kocaman adimlar atmak mümkün degildir. Onun için yazar romaninin daha ilk cümlelerinde erkek dünyasinda var olmaya çalisan "haddini bilmez kadinlarin" "iflah olmaz topuklar"indan bahseder.

  2. Discuss how good Atticus is as a father.

    They must also respect other's opinions and sometimes, even honourably tolerate them and accept them as when Scout's teacher prohibits her from reading. Atticus aims to educate his children cleverly: he does not enforce rules, but rather teaches them why these rules exist, so they too can become valuable, rational and sensible human beings.

  1. Analysis of When I Have Fears by John Keats

    Besides, the repitition of the relative pronoun 'when' ("When I..", "and when I..") maintains the flow of futuristic thoughts, and indicates the persistance of lifetime, throughout the poem. 'When I have fears...', 'When behold upon the night's starr'd face', 'And when I feel...'.

  2. Much Ado About Nothing. Shakespeare constructs the characters of Don John and Claudio ...

    to be, in a sense, more honest than the other noblemen of that time. That is the idea of status climbing and outright flattery whether it be truthful or not towards those of a higher social rank, he sees as immoral, and his beliefs can be perceived as morally acceptable.

  1. The Crucible Essay

    politics often only concern about the outcome instead of the means used to achieve the outcome. The Red Scare exemplified that the single aim of the U.S. government was to convict people in order to perhaps install fear onto the civilians.

  2. Phillip K. Dick Essay

    He also believed that a "plasmate" that was an early first century Christian was co-existing within him. He came to believe that he might be hallucinating the reality which was around him and that he may have actually been living during the Roman Empire (Behrens/Ruch).

  1. Carol Ann Duffy attacks men in The Worlds Wife

    the line from Mrs Beast, âLet the less-loving one be meâ, because she forces herself to be less loving, as part of a rather feminist vow to never be trampled on by men. Furthermore, the line also seems to be mocking the lack of male emotional attachment.

  2. War in "Shoe Horn Sonata" by John Misto and "Grave of the fireflies" by ...

    close up is used to show the rotting dead body a result of the war.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work