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Honour and Loyalty in “to Kill a Mockingbird”


Throughout the unique “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Harper Lee presented lots of examples to the reader concerning honour and loyalty. Harper established the traits of honour and commitment through her portrayal of the characters; Atticus Finch, Arthur “Boo” Radley, and Calpurnia. Atticus Finch was a recognized sign of honour and commitment.

He was a male who honoured his clean reputation in the town of Macomb and remained faithful to individuals near him. One example of Atticus’ honourable character was when Bob Ewell committed the fallacious act of spitting in his face. Atticus kept complete composure, and walked away, instead of combating with Bob.

This demonstrated how Atticus did not want his reputation in Macomb to diminish. He discussed to Jem that he had “damaged his (Bob Ewells’) last shred of credibility at that trial” (Harper Lee, 1960, p. 218). He also explained to Jem how “spitting in my face and threatening me conserved Mayella Ewell one additional beating” (Harper Lee, 1960, p. 218). This showed honour in Atticus as he took care of Mayella, putting aside how roughly she had treated Atticus and Tom Robinson in the past. Loyalty was shown when Atticus made the essential decision to handle the Tom Robinson case.

He completely protected Tom no matter what others would state. Atticus took the case for another reason; he believed in equality and thought that black and white people were to be dealt with similarly. Atticus honoured Ms. Dubose and showed respect by speaking kindly of her all the time. Although the kids told Atticus how she treated them, he still greeted Ms. Dubose; “great evening Ms. Dubose! You look like a picture this evening.” (Harper Lee, 1960, P. 109). It took terrific honour for Atticus to be this considerate towards Ms. Dubose, considering how disrespectfully she treated Jem and Scout.

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Another character who showed honour and commitment in “To a Kill a Mockingbird” was Arthur “Boo” Radley. Throughout the preliminary stages of the novel, Boo kept leaving little things in the tree for the children to take. He was acting honourable and attempting to befriend them, as they acted appeared of him. Additionally, Boo put a blanket around Scout throughout the fire. Initially, Scout thought it was Jem who had actually put the blanket around her, but when she learnt it was Boo, she was shocked, and began to think differently of him. Jem told Scout that she was “so busy taking a look at the fire, she didn’t now it when he put the blanket around her” (Harper Lee, 1960, p. 72). Arthur Radley was honourable towards the Finch household by eliminating Bob Ewell. Bob had actually triggered lots of problems for the Finch household, and was the cause of Tom Robinson’s death, which followed after the court case. His actions showed as justice for the Tom Robinson Case, along with for the assault on the children (which left Jem with a damaged arm). Last but not least, Calpurnia was likewise a considerable character in this novel who illustrated honour and commitment. She took Jem and Scout to an African American church.

The kids were not welcomed warmly. Calpurnia remained faithful to the kids, and completely safeguarded them when everyone else desired them out. A lady from the church was displeased with the fact that Calpurnia had actually brought these kids to their church. Immediately, Calpurnia backed the kids, stating that there was absolutely no distinction between white or black people, so the kids were to have every right to stay in the church. As a “mom figure”, Calpurnia was a great influence on both of the kids, she taught them how to be honourable to people, and to regard others.

When Walter Cunningham went over to the Finch’s for supper, Scout made a comment on the way Walter was putting syrup all over his supper. Calpurnia took Scout directly to the kitchen and told her that “Yo’ folks might be better ‘n the Cunningham’s however it don’t count for nothin’ the way you’re disgracin’ ’em” (Harper Lee, 1960, p. 31). After the stern vituperation, Scout returned to the table and was more considerate towards Walter. Calpurnia had actually also worked with the Finch family for much of her life, which revealed her loyalty for them, and the regard she had actually acquired from Atticus.

After Calpurnia was informed to leave the Finch house, Atticus strongly defended her by telling Alexandra that she was a “loyal family member and she ‘d (Alexandra) would have to accept things the method they were.” (Harper Lee, 1960, p. 147) In conclusion, Atticus Finch, Boo Radley, and Calpurnia were three significant characters who clearly demonstrated honour and loyalty throughout “How to Kill a Mockingbird”. They also played important roles in assisting the kids to become faithful and honourable.

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