Atticus Finch Essay, Research Paper
Atticus Finch, a widower of 50, is the father of Jem and Scout. He represents all that is best in Maycomb as a citizen, a father, a Christian and a Southern gentleman. He stands out as a man of reason and courage. As a citizen Atticus is highly respected and very responsible. His conduct and conversation throughout the book show that he is entirely free from the usual Maycomb faults of pride , racialism and hypocrisy. In any ways, Atticus is central to the whole point of the novel.
In the face of prejudice and strong emotions of the people of Maycomb he tries to make his own children see that it is better to use one’s head than to resort to fists. Jem and Scout have perfect confidence in their father. He always tells them the truth, and they are secure in the knowledge that he loves them.
His bravery in defending Tom Robinson, knowing the likely outcome of the trial, is considerable. He is driven by a strong belief in equality before the law.
Atticus is a truly religious man,
“before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that dosen’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.”
As Miss Maudie says, he represents true Christian values in Maycomb,
“We’re so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we’ve got men like Atticus to go for us.”
His children are disapointed that Atticus dosen’t play football or poker, and that he neither drinks nor smokes. Atticus is described as old and short-sighted. On the other hand he is an excellent marksman. He is chosen by the sheiff to deal with the mad dog. The people who matter in Maycomb hold Atticus in very high regard.
Although Atticus gives Jem and Scout considerable amounts of freedom he demands high standards of courtesy, honesty and manners from them. He is very fair and will always listen to both sides of an argument. He represents the voice of truth and fairness in the community. Despite his great virtues he is not unapproachable and is a popular man with a very keen sense of humour, which makes him both human and likeable.However, his faith in the goodness of man leads him to underestimate Bob Ewell, with almost fatal consequences.
Atticus’s manner is cool and dry; his speech is formal, but his heart is warm. When he sees the food sent to him by the black community he is so moved that his eyes fill with tears. He is Harper Lee’s ideal of a true gentleman and a true hero.
+ Maycombians like and trust him.
+ Kind: willing to work to send his brother through medical school.
+ Represents Maycomb in the state legislature.
+ Jem and Scout are given sound and unbiased advice from Atticus.
+ He reads, plays with them but dosen’t interfere too much.
+ Wise “Kill all the bluejays you want, but remember, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”
+ Scout looks up to him. He is clearly an unbiased and friendly man.
+ Epitomises the Southern gentleman, chivalrous.
+ Does not judge by skin colour, respectful to different people, polite.
+ Very formal.
+ Tries to see the best in people.”Try to see yourself in their shoes.”
+ Tolerant, respects the privacy of others, understands things from their point of view.
+ Knowledgeable, words of wisdom: acts as a disciplinary figure, conscience figure etc., tells children of true courage.
+ Philosophical, shares Miss Maudie’s sense of humour, clearly have a lot in common.
+ He trusts his children. Jem models himself on his dad.
+ Acts by conscience.
+ Understands children, most educated character in novel.
+ Is prejudiced against by other characters.
+ He judges on personal merit, not racial background.
+ Smart tricks the Ewells in court, convincing in court.
+ All respect him (but Mr. Ewell)
+ caring (stays beside Jem all night)
+ He represents reason and courage by defending Tom Robinson and knowing he will be criticised.