Rising for Finch in TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

Atticus Finch leaving courtroom

The 1962 film adaptation of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird features Gregory Peck’s brilliant portrayal of Atticus Finch. Not only does Peck embody the honesty and integrity of Atticus Finch, but he can pull off the three-piece tweed suit better than any other actor could. A pivotal scene in the film and the scene that tugs at my heart strings the most comes as everyone starts to leave the courtroom after the verdict of Tom Robinson’s case is read. The people on the floor of the courtroom file out and as Atticus collects his things, the African-American community of the town rises to their feet. Reverend Sykes says to young Scout, “Miss Jean-Louise, stand up. Your father’s passing.” She stands and Atticus leaves the courtroom. Atticus, being the humble man that he is, does his best not to be affected by the showing. This scene shows the power and support of the African-American community behind Atticus and Tom Robinson. They know that Atticus went out on a limb to fight for justice in their town and support him more than ever, even with the guilty verdict. Also, this scene shows the effect that this case will leave on the young Finch children and their idea of humanity and right and wrong.

—Sarah Thornton