Bob and Atticus Comparison Essay
Bob and Atticus both live in the same town in Southern Alabama, which is a physical similarity. They both become involved in the same court case (the trial of Tom Robinson), and both play an important part in the scenes in the courtroom, on opposing sides however. The similarities between the two men are largely superficial, and the differences are in connection with their actions and their personalities. Both of the men suffer due to the effects of the depression that hit America in 1929; meaning neither of them have much money to their name.However, where Atticus uses his money wisely, spending it on important things such as education, clothes, etc. Bob spends his money, coming from welfare checks, on whiskey, as opposed to his children.
Atticus works to earn money which as mentioned previously, he spends wisely, whereas Bob receives the equivalent of our benefits, which he then spends on alcohol. Already you can see just how different the two men are. Atticus is hard working, and his job helps the community therefore they value him, whereas the town often comment on how they haven’t seen the Ewells do one honest day of work.
This shows us how differently the men are perceived by the community. Both of the men are single fathers and both of their wives died before the novel started, so we don’t get to meet them. Atticus wisely employs help, in the form of Calpurnia, who takes the motherly role in the family. Bob, however doesn’t seem to care at all about his children. He doesn’t encourage them to go to school, and Burris Ewell, one of his sons, is described as “the filthiest human” by Scout.
We get the impression Bob’s children aren’t getting a good upbringing, whereas Atticus’s children are.Atticus’s children are treated with respect, thus, show respect in return. Whereas, Bob’s children aren’t treated with respect, and don’t show any either. However, Atticus isn’t a perfect father.
He doesn’t think about the safety of the children on the night of the pageant, which is very irresponsible and leaves his children in deep danger. Although, Atticus likes to see the good in everyone, so he does not predict that Bob will take revenge on him, through his children. Atticus doesn’t have bad intents, whereas it could be said that Bob does.We get many strong hints that Bob attacked Mayella, causing her injuries which he later blamed on Tom Robinson, which tells us what an awful father he is. While Atticus isn’t perfect, he would never harm his children.
Atticus works for the law system, and is a law-abiding citizen, whereas Bob rebels against the law, through things such as shooting outside of season, and letting his children skip school. Both men are objects of prejudice and attract public attention, but for different reasons. Bob receives prejudice because of where and how he lives, and his attitudes and ways of life.
Atticus however, receives prejudice because he has agreed to defend a black man (Tom Robinson), which is controversial and racism is still a big issue during that time. Tom Robinson is one of the mockingbirds in this story, and as Atticus told Jem, “it is a sin to kill a mockingbird..
. they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. ” This is why Atticus felt it was important to defend him in court; to stand up against the prejudices that the Southern States retained. Both Atticus and Jem learn that it is costly to be on the right side of the law, even though it shouldn’t be.
Bob however, is rather arrogant; he provokes fear, and is ruthless, violent and intimidating. The court case contrasts the characters dramatically, as they are both contained in the same room, under pressure, and being watched by all of Maycomb. Atticus handles this situation calmly and professionally, presenting his case thoroughly and logically, which leads the community to regard him highly. On the other hand, Bob tries to be funny, and get the courtroom to laugh about it and not take it seriously, but when it is proved that he is lying, this backfires, and they think him silly to make such a serious case a laughing matter.