You may also like to download this guide as a PDF (portable document file). You can open the document in your browser window, or save it (download) to a local drive in your computer. If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer , then a left mouse-click will open the file in its associated program, and a right mouse-click will give you a menu, from which you can choose to save the file. In this case, you can use the save as and browse options to specify where to save. If you are using Netscape Navigator , a left mouse-click will give you a menu, from which you can choose to open or save the file.
this story so much, because a person’s conscience has a lot to do with courage and knowing the right thing to do. Atticus was implying that no one can vote on what one has to do in life or tell one what’s right or wrong. It’s up to the individual to listen to his or her conscience. Atticus had enough courage to listen to his conscience and stand up for Tom and what he believed in to help this African American man’s defense. In the 1930’s in Alabama that wasn’t always the smartest thing to do, defend an African American, especially if you were a white man.
These words, from Chapter 31, conclude the novel. As Scout falls asleep, she is telling Atticus about the events of The Gray Ghost, a book in which one of the characters is wrongly accused of committing a crime and is pursued. When he is finally caught, however, his innocence is revealed. As Scout sleepily explains the story to Atticus, saying that the character was “real nice” when “they finally saw him,” Atticus gently notes the truth of that observation. In this way, Lee closes the book with a subtle reminder of the themes of innocence, accusation, and threat that have run throughout it, putting them to rest by again illustrating the wise moral outlook of Atticus: if one lives with sympathy and understanding, then it is possible to retain faith in humanity despite its capacity for evil—to believe that most people are “real nice.” Additionally, this passage emphasizes Atticus’s strong, loving role as a parent to Scout and Jem—he tucks Scout in, then goes to sit by Jem’s bedside all night long. Through Atticus’s strength, the tension and danger of the previous chapters are resolved, and the book ends on a note of security and peace.