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Dubose and Boo Radley were characters that all displayed tremendous courage in Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird." Atticus willingly defended a black man; Mrs.Dubose tried to break her morphine addiction; and Boo Radley saved Scout and Jem from Bob Ewell.He went against the town and willingly defended Tom Robinson, a black man.
What the world saw as a hideous carcinoma on Alabama’s face in the days of “massive resistance” was, in fact, only a wart on the public visage of respectable white segregationists struggling with an unfixable inheritance of white trash on the one side and a fractious black minority on the other.[ Our review: “Why ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Matters” | Our review: “To Kill a Mockingbird” | The Life, Death and Career of Harper Lee ]Lee’s fictional snapshot of a strait-laced lawyer gave Alabama a civic mythology it could live with, but non-Southerners may not appreciate the role of the “Mockingbird” industry in the region’s endless literary wars.
Georgia still basks in the imperial grandeur of “Gone With the Wind Mississippians lord it over their Bama cousins because “Absalom, Absalom!
Crespino is not timid about exposing the fact that “Mockingbird” approvingly dramatizes the class bigotry that still prevails in white Alabama.
Its corporate and landowning oligarchs monopolize economic and political power, but the state’s ills are always laid at the feet of lower-class whites like Bob Ewell and his troubled daughter Mayella.
Even the gifted Northern novelist Jonathan Franzen cited the original Atticus as the epitome of moral perfection in a New Yorker essay on Edith apprentice work containing the germ plasm of “Mockingbird,” cast light on the virtues and limitations of the author and her canonical novel. Crespino, who holds a wonderful title — he is the Jimmy Carter professor of history at Emory University — displays a confident understanding of the era of genteel white supremacists like A. This book’s closely documented conclusion is that A. Lee, who once chased an integrationist preacher out of the Monroeville Methodist Church, and his devoted albeit sporadically rebellious daughter, Nelle Harper Lee, both wanted the world to have a better opinion of upper-class Southern WASPs than they deserve.
It also opened the door to serious scholarship like “Atticus Finch: The Biography,” Joseph Crespino’s crisp, illuminating examination of Harper Lee’s dueling doppelgängers and their real-life model, Lee’s politician father, A. These are the people Harper Lee and I grew up among — educated, well-read, well-traveled Alabamians who would never invite George Wallace into their homes, but nonetheless watched in silence as he humiliated poor Alabama in the eyes of the world.It took real courage and bravery to do what some of these people did through the uneasy circumstances. Dubose, and Boo Radley showed many examples of such courage.Atticus proved, in my opinion, to be the most courageous in the book.Crespino’s answer as to Lee is an unequivocal yes, and he links Lee’s split vision to the lifelong game of hide-and-seek between Nelle Lee, the down-home fisherman, and Harper Lee, the literary expat who was happiest in Manhattan.Anne Maxwell does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.” put William Faulkner on a lonely pinnacle no other Southern writer can scale.But when “Mockingbird” won the Pulitzer and then swept the Oscars in 1963, Alabama had what its psyche needed most — an internationally accepted statement that we are better than the rest of America (not to mentions its journalists, historians and preachers) has been willing to admit.Three years later, my friend still believes that Harper Lee was tricked, in her dotage, into shredding the image of perhaps the only white Alabamian other than Helen Keller to be admired around the world.Never mind that this better Atticus is fictional; my home state has learned to grab admiration where it can.In short, the valiant display of bravery and courage played a key role in hte foudation of the novel's overall moral to hurt an innocent and good person is to sin for they do nothing to hurt us.ATTICUS FINCH The Biography By Joseph Crespino 248 pp. Had I heard that his hero Atticus Finch had an evil twin?