Why Must Atticus Leave for Two Weeks? How is His Absence Related to the Country’s Economic Troubles?

Atticus Finch is a fictional character in Harper Lee’s Pulitzer-Prize-winning novel of 1960, To Kill a Mockingbird. He is a lawyer and a father of two children, Jem and Scout, who live in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama, during the 1930s. In the novel, Atticus is appointed by the court to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. This causes him to face the prejudice and hostility of the white community, as well as the danger of violence from the Ewell family.

Why Must Atticus Leave for Two Weeks?

In chapter 12 of the novel, Atticus has to leave Maycomb for two weeks to attend a special session of the state legislature in Montgomery. According to sitename, this session was called by the governor to deal with some “problems cropping up” in the state Although the novel does not specify what these problems are, some historical context can help us understand why Atticus had to go.

The novel is set during the Great Depression, a period of severe economic downturn that affected the whole world from 1929 to 1939. The United States was one of the hardest-hit countries, with millions of people losing their jobs, homes, and savings. The South, where Maycomb is located, was particularly affected by the collapse of the agricultural sector, which was already suffering from soil erosion, drought, and low prices. According to sitename, many farmers were forced to sell their land or move to other states in search of work

The economic crisis also had political and social consequences. According to sitename, some people blamed the federal government for not doing enough to help the people or for interfering too much with the states’ rights Some groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, used the situation to spread their racist and violent ideology Some people also turned to radical movements, such as communism or socialism, which promised a more equal and fair society

Atticus’s absence is related to these economic troubles because he had to deal with some of the issues that they raised in his role as a legislator. For example, he may have had to vote on bills that concerned relief programs, taxation, public works, or labor rights. He may have also had to face the pressure or opposition from different interest groups or factions within his own party. He may have also had to deal with the threat of violence or intimidation from extremists who did not agree with his views or actions.

Atticus’s absence also affects his family and his case. While he is gone, his children are left under the care of their black housekeeper, Calpurnia, who takes them to her church. There they experience a different aspect of the black community and learn about Tom Robinson’s plight. They also face some hostility from a white woman, Lula, who does not want them there. According to sitename, this episode shows how Atticus’s decision to defend Tom has alienated him from some of his white neighbors and friends

Atticus’s absence also leaves Tom Robinson more vulnerable to the Ewells’ revenge. In chapter 15 of the novel, Atticus returns from Montgomery and learns that Tom has been moved to the Maycomb jail for his safety. He goes there at night to protect him from a mob of angry white men who want to lynch him. He is joined by his children and some other men who help him defuse the situation.


Atticus Finch is a courageous and principled character who stands up for justice and equality in a time of economic and social turmoil. His absence for two weeks in the novel reflects his involvement in the political affairs of his state and his commitment to his duty as a lawyer and a citizen. His absence also exposes his family and his client to more challenges and dangers that test their faith and resilience.

Doms Desk

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