The Strengths of Atticus's Defense in to Kill a Mockingbird

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About this sample


Words: 552 |

Page: 1|

3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Words: 552|Page: 1|3 min read

Published: Jun 13, 2024

Imagine being a defense attorney in a small southern town during the 1930s, tasked with defending a black man accused of raping a white woman. This was the challenge faced by Atticus Finch, the protagonist in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus's defense strategy is a testament to his strengths as a lawyer, demonstrating his ability to navigate a racially charged society and advocate for justice. In this essay, we will analyze the various strengths of Atticus's defense, exploring his unwavering integrity, his skillful cross-examination, and his compelling closing argument.

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One of the key strengths of Atticus's defense is his unwavering integrity. Throughout the trial, Atticus remains steadfast in his pursuit of justice, despite facing fierce opposition from the community. He understands that his role as a defense attorney is to provide a fair trial for his client, regardless of the prevailing racial prejudices. Atticus's unwavering integrity is evident when he chooses to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a white woman.

In one instance, Atticus confronts the racist members of the community who threaten him and his family. He refuses to back down, even when his own safety is at risk. Atticus's unwavering integrity not only strengthens his defense but also serves as a moral compass for his children, Scout and Jem, who witness their father's unwavering commitment to justice.

Another strength of Atticus's defense lies in his skillful cross-examination of the prosecution's witnesses. Atticus's ability to ask pointed questions and expose inconsistencies in the witnesses' testimonies is crucial in undermining the prosecution's case. Through his cross-examination, Atticus reveals the truth and casts doubt on the credibility of the witnesses.

For example, during Mayella Ewell's testimony, Atticus skillfully questions her about the events leading up to the alleged rape. By asking specific details and highlighting contradictions in her statements, Atticus manages to sow seeds of doubt in the minds of the jury. His cross-examination exposes the possibility of Mayella's father, Bob Ewell, being the true culprit and provides an alternative explanation for the alleged crime.

Atticus's closing argument is yet another strength of his defense. In his final address to the jury, Atticus delivers a passionate plea for justice, appealing to the jurors' sense of morality and asking them to put aside their racial biases. His eloquent words and powerful rhetoric leave a lasting impact on the jury, challenging them to do what is right.

Atticus's closing argument is particularly noteworthy for its emphasis on the concept of empathy. He encourages the jurors to see beyond the color of Tom Robinson's skin and to view him as a human being deserving of a fair trial. Atticus's closing argument not only appeals to the jurors' sense of justice but also highlights the larger societal issue of racial inequality.

In conclusion, Atticus Finch's defense in To Kill a Mockingbird showcases his strengths as a lawyer. His unwavering integrity, skillful cross-examination, and compelling closing argument contribute to a robust defense that challenges the racial prejudices of Maycomb County. Atticus's defense not only serves as a powerful example of legal advocacy but also highlights the importance of standing up for justice, even in the face of adversity. Through his defense of Tom Robinson, Atticus inspires readers to question their own biases and work towards a more just society.


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Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. HarperCollins, 1960.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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The Strengths of Atticus’s Defense in To Kill a Mockingbird. (2024, Jun 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 19, 2024, from
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The Strengths of Atticus’s Defense in To Kill a Mockingbird. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 19 Jul. 2024].
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