What is a hero? In the dictionary a hero is described as an object of extreme admiration and devotion, idol. I think this definition should also include that a hero should have courage and put others before themselves. In To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus Finch demonstrated true heroic qualities. He was admirable and devoted, he was brave and put others before himself in a difficult time.
Atticus had to overcome many challenges and take many risks. He was a single parent yet he raised his children to be well behaved, polite and open minded. To instill something like that shows what kind of man he is. Taking Tom Robinson's case and putting so much time and energy in to it really began to make his heroic qualities shine.
Atticus treated all people, black or white, with kindness, courtesy and respect. He doesn't hold grudges against the people of the town.
Atticus recognizes the good and bad qualities in people. He tries to look through the bad in a person and find and admire the true goodness of them.
Atticus agreeing to defend Tom Robinson in court showed that he believed in fairness and justice for all. During that time black people were considered to be lower class, which caused white people to always suspect blacks before they suspected white people. People in the town begin to call him a "nigger lover" and threaten him and his family. During the trial Atticus makes this statement, "Confident that you gentlemen, would go along with them on one assumption, the evil assumption, that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are immoral beings, that all Negroes are not to be trusted around our women, an assumption that of one mind of their caliber. Which gentlemen, we know is in itself a lie as black...