Atticus Finch: A Just Man

Essay by sweetpea76834High School, 10th grade January 2005

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Atticus Finch is one of the best male role models in American Literature. This instrumental character in To Kill a Mockingbird was a just man who kept his town of Maycomb from falling apart. He seeked fairness in every situation and never needed to reconsider his position on any issue. This sense of righteousness was displayed no matter the situation, making him consistent in his beliefs.

Atticus treated his children, Jem and Scout, as adults, causing them to be mature beyond their ages. He bestowed his wisdom and values upon them about taboo subjects like racism. When asked a question, Atticus answered honestly regardless of the subject. Scout once asked him why people behave a certain way, so he explained, "You never understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it." (Lee 34) These are simple words, but very meaningful ones.

Atticus appeared to be the character least infected by Maycomb's prejudicial ways. The racism of his community did not influence his beliefs, as it affected those of many others. When Calpurnia, his African American maid, took his children to her "colored" church, Atticus was completely unaffected, whereas his sister, Alexandra, was infuriated by this act. In addition to being against exploitation of African Americans, he stood firmly against taking advantage of those who are less fortunate or less educated. His community viewed him as a gracious man, always willing to help anyone in need.

When asked to defend Tom Robinson against an accusation of rape, Atticus accepted the case without hesitation, feeling it was the right thing to do. It was obvious from the start that Maycomb's racist citizens were going to convict Tom based on the fact that we was an African American,