Character Analysis of Atticus Finch in to Kill a Mockingbird
Protection and Prosecution
In To Kill A Mockingbird, the primary defender of the innocent is Atticus Finch. Atticus was a comforting character to some of the other characters. He also didn’t hide things from the juvenile. Atticus defended the innocent by creating a safe place for children. Lastly, Atticus was a Selfless man. He cared about the wellbeing of others. In the book there are multiple examples of each of the of the characteristics above.
Atticus Finch always did his best to comfort other characters in the book. If Atticus didn’t have to characteristics to comfort someone he would find a loophole, and do the best he could. In chapter 13 Atticus’ sister, Alexandra has come to stay with the Finch family for a while. Alexandra did not approve of a few of the customs this family had in their household, She told Atticus to tell the children to that they should live up to the Finch name. About midway through the conversation Atticus realized that he was being hypocritical and that he didn’t want to raise his kids up that way, so he made a joke about their cousin that tried to kill the president and cost the Finch family 500 dollars, in attempt to comfort Scout and Jem. Even with the motherly nurture that he lacked, Atticus still wanted to comfort the children. Another example of how Atticus was a comforting man is when Tom Robinson died. Tom had been sent to jail after the trial. At this point Tom had given up and then tried to escape. He was shot 17 times. Atticus had come home to ask Calpurnia to come with him to come tell Tom’s wife, Helen. He asked Cal to join him so that he could deliver this news in the most comfortable way possible. Atticus knew that his presence alone wouldn’t be as comfortable for Helen. Atticus maybe wasn’t the warmest or most nurturing man, but he did do everything he could to make hard situations as comfortable as possible.
Atticus not only passed information to adults. He wanted his children to know things that some other adults did not agree with. This gives them a better view of the world and helping them prepare themselves for real life. Also, protecting them from the idea that the world perfect and fair, so when they are exposed to it they won’t be disappointed by what they thought the world was like. If they asked him a question about something, he told them. Atticus told the children things that other adults may be uncomfortable telling children. In chapter nine, Scout had gotten into a fight with her her cousin francis, and she called him a ‘whore-lady’ and started to beat on him. After this altercation Scout asked her uncle Jack what a ‘whore-lady’ was. When Jack told Atticus that he didn’t tell her what it was he was frustrated. Atticus didn’t want to hide things from the children, even if they are difficult things to understand. When Cecil Jacobs harassed Scout about her father being a ‘nigger-lover’, she asked her father what he was talking about. She asked her father what he was talking about. He explained to her that he was Tom Robinson’s defense attorney for an upcoming trial. Atticus didn’t hide anything from his children if it wouldn’t hurt them. Telling his children how the real world truly is, sets them up for success.
Apart from telling his children the truth, he made a safe space for his children and their friends. For example, Scout’s first day of school was rough. Her teacher told her to tell Atticus to stop reading with her. Then she gets yelled at for trying to protect another student. She goes to Atticus and tells him what happened. She talks about how she doesn’t want to go to school. She begs and begs Atticus not to make her go back. So Atticus makes a deal with her. They will keep reading outside of school and she will continue to go to school as she is supposed to, but she just has to pretend that she is like the other students. Further in the book Dill runs away from his new family, and comes to the Finch house. When Atticus sees Dill was obviously nervous. But Atticus just fed him and went to tell Dill’s aunt that he was there. Atticus made sure his home and presence felt safe for the children.
Along with these amazing qualities, Atticus was selfless. He protected others, whether or not he would get hurt. While explaining the case to his younger brother Jack, Atticus said that he wished that he would never have a like this one in his career. But he took it anyway. He knew that his chances of winning this case were very small, but he cared more about making sure the town of Maycomb knew what had really happened. In chapter 15 Atticus went downtown to where the Maycomb Jail where they were keeping Tom. There were men at the jail with the intention to kill Tom and Atticus knew that. He knowingly put himself in danger to protect an innocent man.
Atticus was a man of many characteristics. He was selfless, he cared about the well being of others, he made a safe place for his children and friends of his children. He also never hid the truth about the world from his children. All of these characteristics prove that Atticus was the primary defender of the innocent in the novel To Kill A Mockingbird.
Integrity as the Main Trait of a Lawyer: Atticus Finch Character Analysis
“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.” In the classic novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, main character Atticus Finch lives by this saying; he judges the seeds he plants, not his success each day. This character, crafted by Harper Lee, applies courage and justice to difficult situations throughout the book. Constantly setting a noble standard, he pushes through adversity and prejudice that engulfs his small southern town in the 1930’s. Shaped by his past experiences, hero Atticus Finch strengthens the story’s moral values by displaying qualities that influence his family and an entire town.
Like any classic hero, Atticus’ history framed the person he eventually became and the morals he held himself to. Growing up at Finches’ Landing, ‘One Shot Finch’, his nickname earned from his sharp shooting skills, learned lessons like fairness and sensibility young. He eventually even gave up hunting because, “God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things (Lee 98)”. Being a white male, Atticus took the opportunity to attend the University of Alabama to study law. Soon after moving to his hometown, Maycomb, to practice law, he was voted to the state legislate where he met his wife. Within seven years of marriage, Atticus’ wife died of a heart attack, leaving him with two children, Jem and Scout, by himself. Events like these taught him perseverance and patience at as a young adult.
These lessons Atticus learned soon helped him when he faces major adversity at his job as a lawyer. Readers learn a lot about Atticus’s integrity in the Tom Robinson case. When assigned defense of a black gentleman in a contentious rape case, Atticus prepares for the trail with diligence. Even when the town and even his own family disagrees, Atticus does his job to the best of his ability. He takes his job seriously, respecting opponents and preparing diligently, despite the clients class or race. Atticus shows this year before when he defended Walter Cunningham’s entailment, even allowing him to pay in nuts and firewood. “The Cunninghams had no money to lay a lawyer, they simply paid us with what they had (Lee 210).” As a lawyer, Atticus truly does his best; bring out timeless, honorable traits.
From ambition to zealousness, Atticus shows personality traits at his work and at home that show his true integrity. One of the major beliefs he has is that treating all people with equality is vital to a functioning society, even in an era when racism was socially expectable. Calpurnia, the Finch’s black maid and nanny, is treated with respect and as an equal by Atticus, even taking the children with her to the all black church, First Purchase. He also believes in an unorthodox definition of courage, saying that “it’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but begin anyway and you see it through no matter what (Lee).” Sincere Atticus proved this while protecting Tom outside of the jail by himself. Knowing the danger and potential consequences, Atticus chooses to do what is right and stands up against his fellow townspeople.
Apart from work, Atticus shows these traits and others around his family at home. Honest is important to him, especially when dealing with his children. He tells Scout the definition of rape and a whore-lady, despite her young age. He also puts his intellectually to work at home, reading every chance he gets. In the book, its also tells that he wasn’t like the other fathers, “he did not play poker or fish or drink or smoke. Just sat in the living room and read. (Lee 89).” It upsets Jem that Atticus wouldn’t play in the town’s football game; his father saying he was too old. Atticus’ life is that which may be expected of a fifty year old’s, staying true to his values and beliefs.
With honesty and equality, Atticus fights obstacles, such as an unpleased town and curious children, by holding fast to what he knew was right. Lessons that he acquired by experiences as a boy cared through to his adult life. When faced with situations as a lawyer, he also stood strong and unwavering. Also his personality shines through, always treating people humanly. These characteristics also show at home by the way he handles his children and household. Every story needs a hero, and Atticus Finch couldn’t fit the role any better!
Atticus Finch – Role Model in Harper Lee’s to Kill a Mockingbird
A role model is a worthy person who is a good example for other people. A role model can also be defined as a person, who another individual patterns his or her behaviour in a particular social role, including adopting appropriate similar attitudes. Role models do not need to be known personally to the individual: role models can be relations, legends, celebrities and fictitious characters. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird written by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch, the protagonist is a role model. He is a caring neighbour an understanding father and an honorable lawyer.
Atticus Finch is a role model to his children, Jem and Scout because they see him as a caring neighbour. Atticus shows generosity to his client and neighbour Mr. Cunningham, Walter cannot come up with the money to pay him for his service, Atticus accepts payment in vegetables and other things with no hesitation, even willing to accept nothing at all. When Walter Cunningham said “Mr. Finch, I don’t know when I’ll ever be able to pay you.” Atticus replied “Let that be the least of your worries, Walter.” (Lee 27). Atticus also shows himself as a caring neighbour, after he lost his case the African-American community stood up for him as he left the court room. The next morning Atticus was thanked by a lot of people, his back steps were filled with gifts and food. Atticus seeing this he was full of tears and gratitude but knowing that times were tough because it was the great depression he said “Tell them I’m grateful” “Tell them-tell them they must never do this again. Times are too hard…” (Lee 286). This reaction shows that Atticus understands their appreciation but also knows that it is really though and every penny counts, he does not think it is fair for them to take care of their family and they should not bother spending their money for him. Thus it is manifest that Atticus cares about his neighbours and as a result is a good role model to his children Scout and Jem.
A second reason Atticus is contemplated as a role model is because he is an understanding father. After Scout’s first day of school she was upset because her Grade one teacher had told he she was too young to be able to read and write, her teacher was able to convince Scout that it was wrong to read and write at her age and her teacher Miss Caroline told Scout that her father was teaching her the wrong things and she should stop. Scout came back from her first the feeling upset, Atticus knowing that his daughter was upset asked her what was wrong. He understood scout and as compromise with her saying “if you’ll concede the necessity of going to school, well go on reading every night just as we always have. Is it a bargain?”(Lee42). Scout agreed with her father and they continued their usual reading. This shows Atticus as a caring father, Atticus knows how much Scout loves to read and how happy reading makes her, and so Atticus continues the reading to keep his daughter happy. Another incident where Atticus Finch shows himself as an understanding father is when he confronts his children after he had accepted the Tom Robinson case scout and Jem were very inquisitive about the controversial case and why Atticus had accepted it then he said to them
“Because I could never ask you to mind me again … You might hear some ugly talk about it at school, but do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ’em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change … it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.“ (Lee 101)
This tells the reader that Atticus understands what his children are about to go through