Credible Character in To Kill A Mockingbird


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Credible Character in To Kill A Mockingbird

  1. 1. To Kill A Mockingbird (Credible Character) “Credibility” can be defined as “the quality that somebody or something has thatmakes people believe or trust them” (“Credibility,” Oxford Advanced Learner‟s Dictionary).Hence, credible character means a character that can be believed or trusted. The novel „ToKill A Mockingbird‟ by Harper Lee is a story of how two children, Jem and Scout learn moreabout the various kinds of discrimination that exist in Maycomb County, Alabama. However,by the end of the novel, they are forced to see the dangers of discrimination and are able toovercome their prejudice. The main character, Atticus Finch is a credible character. Thereare several evidences that prove his credibility in this novel. One of the evidences that portrayed the credibility of Atticus Finch can be seen inChapter 3. Scout showed how she really trusted her father when she told Atticus that shewas not going to school anymore and she said that she could do well just by learning fromAtticus at home. “I told Atticus I didn‟t feel very well and didn‟t think I‟d go to school any moreif it was all right with him. Atticus sat down in the swing and crossed his legs. His fingerswandered to his watchpocket; he said that was the only way he could think. He waited inamiable silence, and I sought to reinforce my position: „You never went to school and you doall right, so I‟ll just stay home too. You can teach me like Granddaddy taught you ‟n‟ UncleJack.‟” (Page 39, line 6-14) This shows that Scout was putting high trust towards his father.She believed that her father could teach her the same as what she learnt in school. For thatreason, Atticus is credible because he was able to have his daughter‟s trust. In this novel, Judge Taylor asked Atticus to defend a black man, Tom Robinson whowas falsely accused of raping Mayella Violet Ewell because he knew that Atticus was acredible person. Although he was a white, Atticus still took on the case to defend Tombecause he treated everyone equally and for him, it was significant for his self-worth. As aresult, Atticus had being called as „nigger lover‟ because of his credibility in defending theblack. When Scout asked him if they were going to win the case, Atticus answered with a no.Then, she asked him why he defending Tom Robinson and Atticus said, "Simply because wewere licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win." (Page101, line 13-14) Atticus knew that the whites have already won the case before they evenstarted the trial. However, he was still doing his job to defend Tom Robinson because hewanted to uphold the trusts of the black people for him to struggle for their right. Thisexample is one way that Atticus portrayed his credibility by having the trusts of black people. In Chapter 10, Miss Maudie told Scout that she truly trusted Atticus and she believedthat Jem and Scout are very lucky to have Atticus as their father. When Scout told her thatAtticus couldn‟t do anything, Miss Maudie argued her. “You‟d be surprised,” said Miss
  2. 2. Maudie. “There‟s life in him yet.” “What can he do?” “Well, he can make somebody‟s will soairtight can‟t anybody meddle with it.” (Page 120, line 11-15) The conversation betweenScout and Miss Maudie clearly portrayed how Miss Maudie trusted Atticus‟s talents andabilities in many things. This is just another way that shows how Atticus was credibleaccording to Miss Maudie‟s point of view. Another evidence that obviously proves the credibility of Atticus in Chapter 10 is whenJem and Scout saw Tim Johnson, a mad dog on the street. They went home and toldCalpurnia about it. Calpurnia then made a call to Atticus and he came back home with Mr.Heck Tate to shoot the mad dog. At first, Atticus asked Heck Tate to shoot the dog but herefused to do so and he handed the rifle to Atticus. “For God‟s sake, Mr. Finch, look wherehe is! Miss and you‟ll go straight into the Radley house! I can‟t shoot that well and you knowit!” (page 127, line 3-5) “I‟d feel mighty comfortable if you did now,” (page 127, line7-8) Thissituation shows how Heck Tate trusted Atticus as he seemed very confident that Atticuscould shoot better than him. Therefore, Atticus Finch is credible since he had Mr. HeckTate‟s trust. Besides, another proof that pictures Atticus‟s credibility can be found in Chapter 14.The night Scout and Jem found Dill under Scout‟s bed, Dill was trying to persuade Jem not totell Atticus about him, but then Jem still told Atticus about it. Atticus then decided to give acall to Miss Rachel to let her know that Dill was safe in their house at that time. “Nobody‟sabout to make you go anywhere but to bed pretty soon. I‟m just going over to tell MissRachel you‟re here and ask her if you could spend the night with us-you‟d like that, wouldn‟tyou? And for goodness‟ sake put some of the country back where it belongs, the soilerosion‟s bad enough as it is.” (Page 188, line 20-25) The way Atticus explained it to Dill issomehow shows that he can be trusted. He cared about Dill although he was not his son. Inaddition, his decision to inform Miss Rachel about Dill clearly proves that Atticus is a credibleperson. In conclusion, credibility ensures a person to win the genuine respect, confidence andtrust of others (Chandrasekaran, 2012). When other people put their trust, confidence andrespect on you, it means they consider you as a credible person. In this novel, Atticus wasconsidered as a credible person because his children put their trust on him. Furthermore,Atticus not only had the black people trust when he tried his best to defend Tom Robinsonbut he also had Miss Maudie and Mr. Heck Tate trusts. All the evidences stated aboveclearly show that Atticus Finch is credible.