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Atticus Finch – To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

Throughout chapters 1-17 in To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is shown as a very courageous and non-judgemental person. At times in the book he is also a very caring father but he can be strict at times. His name, Atticus is also a very polite man and always shows courtesy to the people he meets. Many people that live in Maycomb know Atticus is a gentleman and is very polite. He also has a conscience when he says that if he didn’t defend a Negro then he would be ashamed and wouldn’t be able to hold his head up in town.

Harper Lee portrayed Atticus as a very courageous man. Atticus is courageous because he takes up a case no one else dares to take, the Tom Robinson case. He was willing to risk his honour and dignity to help the poorly accused black man. Although he gets a lot of abuse from various people, for example Mrs Dubose when she says, “Atticus is a nigger-lover”, he still doesn’t step down from the case and ignores people. He even put his Children in the way when Scout nearly gets in to a fight against Cecil Jacobs when Cecil Jacobs says that “Scout Finch’s daddy defends niggers”.

Scout even takes abuse from her own family when her cousin, Francis, says that Atticus is a “nigger-lover” which really puts Scout on edge and she starts a fight with Francis. Atticus is also a very non-judgemental person and will always look at things from both sides of the story. In chapter 3 Atticus says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”. Here, Atticus is saying that you can’t judge something until you see things from their point of view, until you see what they’re experiencing.

Atticus is a very caring father but a strict one too. He is very caring when Scout comes home from her first day in school and complains that Miss Caroline (the teacher) doesn’t want Atticus and Scout reading together any more. Atticus decides to make a deal with Scout, “If you’ll concede the necessity of going to school, we’ll go on reading every night just as we always have”. This shows that he cares about Scout concerns and decides to make a deal to make her happy. Although caring he is also a strict father and when Jem loses her cool and destroys Mrs Dubose’s flowers he makes Jem go back and apologies. To do something like this to a sick lady is inexcusable. I strongly advise you to go down and have a talk with Mrs Dubose”.

As well as a good father he is also a very polite and well-mannered man. For example, in the court trial with Mayella, Atticus wouldn’t call her Mayella but Miss Mayella but Mayella took it like Atticus was mocking her. Judge Taylor had to calm her down by saying, “Mr Finch is always courteous to everybody”. This is saying that Atticus is always polite and courteous to everyone he meets. He is also very polite to Mrs Dubose even though Mrs Dubose shout insults to him every time he walks by. Atticus would sweep off his hat, wave gallantly to her and say, ‘Good evening, Mrs Dubose! You look like a picture this evening. ’”

This shows that even though Mrs Dubose is horrid to him, he still says hello and is polite to her. Atticus is also very aware of his own reputation and tries to be morally good as much as he can be. He does this by helping Tom Robinson in a case they would probably lose. Scout asks him why he is defending Tom Robinson and Atticus replies, “The main one is that if I didn’t, I couldn’t hold my head up in town”.

This shows he has morals that he follows so that he can have respect not for others but himself as well. Throughout chapters 1-17 Atticus is shown as a courageous person. As well as being courageous he is non-judgemental especially when he says, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”. Atticus is also portrayed as a caring father when Scout is having trouble at school; Atticus is there to support her. Harper Lee has overall made Atticus a very polite, wise and respected man in To Kill A Mockingbird.


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