Everyone should have a chance to experience a Clarence Darrow or Atticus Finch in their lives, even if only through books or old newspaper articles. Not so much because these men took the case of the underdog, although this too is important, but rather because these men took on the battled for justice and equality. They showed that even in our darkest moments, humanity can still shine and find good.
Atticus Finch, being a fictional character could easily be crafted into something very mythical, nothing but goodness coming out of him. Harper Lee, though, assured readers of his humanness and such through her second story, Go Set A Watchman. I confess that it pained me to read how easily Atticus was shown to be human. Yes he fought for justice and the truth and yet he still harboured human hate and such. I wanted, nay I needed Atticus, to remain above the rest of us.
Clarence Darrow, not a piece of fiction, wore his human complications on his very person. He may champion for women, at least certain women he believed in and yet st the same time want a woman to provide him with all the expected female trappings. Such as meals and subservience. Darrow, for all of his goodness was also harsh to those who cared most about him, having affairs without concern for his wife’s feelings. And in the end, Darrow who was a lion in court ended as we all do, damaged and weak beyond the image of his days in court.
I am not old enough to have witnessed Darrow, but I’ve read accounts of him. Sometimes, when Beloved has found a certain topic that strikes his passion into an out of control wildfire I wonder if there is a hint, a small glimmer of something Darrow-ish or maybe Atticus Finch like happen before my very eyes. After all Beloved seeks truth and justice for almost needing and demanding equality without qualifiers.
If I should be just a wee bit like any of these three men, I would be a much better human. I just work harder at this and never forgot those who are left voiceless by a system that fails to see the, clearly or equally. Perhaps those are the gifts given to us in the form of Atticus Finch and Clarence Darrow..to always be the voice for the voice and the lion even when we feel smaller than a mouse.