In “To Kill a Mockingbird” how did Simon Finch make his money?

Updated 21 March, 2023
Simon Finch, the founder of the Finch family in "To Kill a Mockingbird," made his money in the medical field. He bought and sold to increase his wealth and establish a prosperous business in Maycomb, Alabama. Simon Finch is described as a "tightwad" who believed in saving his money, which allowed him to acquire a substantial fortune. Although he is not present in the novel, his legacy and business practices continue to influence the Finch family and their financial situation.
Detailed answer:

Simon Finch, the ancestor of the Finch family in "To Kill a Mockingbird," was a successful businessman who made his fortune in the medical field. He was a physician and an apothecary, and he ran his own medical practice in Cornwall, England. According to Atticus Finch, Simon's descendant, Simon Finch bought cotton in his medical practice and then sold it to a Liverpool firm, which helped him make his fortune. Simon was not content with his success in England and decided to move to the United States. In 1830, he arrived in Alabama, where he purchased three slaves and started a plantation, which he named Finch's Landing.

Simon's move to the United States and purchase of slaves were typical of the time and place in which he lived. His wealth and status as a plantation owner gave him a prominent position in the community and enabled him to become a member of the state legislature. His family's social standing and wealth remained intact even after the Civil War, and his descendants continued to enjoy their elevated status in Maycomb, Alabama, long after slavery was abolished.

In "To Kill a Mockingbird," Simon Finch's legacy is significant because it highlights the history of the Finch family and their role in the social hierarchy of Maycomb. The Finch family's history is also a reflection of the complex history of the American South, which was built on the exploitation of enslaved people and the labor of their descendants. The history of Simon Finch and his family serves as a reminder of the deep-seated injustices and inequalities that continue to shape American society.

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