Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mocking Justice

One of my favorite books and movies is To Kill a Mockingbird. It is the story of black man wrongfully accused of assaulting a white woman in Alabama. The story takes place in the 1930s and racial prejudice is beyond rampant. Atticus Finch who is a lawyer in the small town is appointed to represent the defendant, Tom Robinson.

One of my all time heroes is Atticus Finch. He is the lawyer I aspired to be.



I was often appointed to represent criminals. The good thing about being appointed is you get paid. The bad thing is that often you are appointed because no other lawyer will take the case. That's how Atticus Finch came to represent Tom Robinson.



When I was working as a lawyer my daughter was very young. Like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird, she often asked questions about my work and my clients. As only a child can, she often asked those questions no one else would or could.



At the time I lived in an older house in town. It had a porch swing identical to the one in this picture. I often sat out there at night and pondered things. I could relate to this image very much when I saw it in the movie.



What I like so much about To Kill a Mockingbird is the perseverance of decency by Atticus Finch despite the overwhelming prejudices that surrounded him. Regardless of the situation, he maintained his moral compass.



If all of us had the values of Atticus Finch, it would be a much better world.

11 comments:

Day4plus said...

Very touching. Porch swing pondering my Father used to say.

We we were little and asked questions about laws and why there were so many my Mother would say "If everyone would follow the Golden Rule we wouldn't need to have so many laws". How right she was and still is.
I,too, wish we all had the values of Atticus Finch and we would be living in a much better world. MB

larkspur said...

Very thoughtful post. I wish everyone had access to a lawyer with your insight and heart.

Hilary said...

One of my favourites too. Harper Lee's one and only book sure nailed it. As did you with this post.

Snappy Di said...

Such a wonderful movie and I haven't seen it in years.

Di

willow said...

I imagine you being a little Atticus Finchish, Russell.

Marge said...

From your writing, I just knew you were Atticus Finch. Great post about one of my all time favorite books and movies. Thanks.

Jo said...

This is the best post you have ever done. It's nice for the world to see the Russell I know -- interesting, smart, funny, well-educated, decent. You are very much "Atticus Finchish".

You shoulda kept that swing, though...! :-)

Kimberly said...

I live, work, know where part of the film was well, filmed. The house in the movie is part of an exhibit outside of the courthouse sqaure in downtown Monroeville, Alabama.

Carolyn said...

'To Kill A Mockingbird' is one of my favourite books and movies of all time also.

I really liked this post and the remembrance of such a great American story. My mother took my brother and me to see this movie on a Good Friday. She felt guilty about going to the movies on a religious holiday, but for some reason she took us anyway. Afterwards she always said she felt it was a worthy movie to see on that day.

Thanks for the reminder - we have the DVD and will have to watch the movie again soon!

Cheers.

Edward said...

In addition to providing legal advice, day to day assistance in building, prosecuting, and winning a case is provided by a Latin lawyer.

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