Atticus Finch's portrayal in "To Kill A Mockingbird" by Harper Lee is far too idealistic. Discuss

Essay by Alex499High School, 10th gradeA+, August 2006

download word file, 4 pages 5.0 1 reviews

In Harper Lee's "To Kill a Mockingbird" Atticus Finch was portrayed as the ideal man. This presentation of Atticus Finch is far too idealistic. Atticus never waivers from behaving perfectly, so perfectly that he exhibits no human foibles. The portrait painted of him is far too idealistic; he always acts courageously and morally, he is a model father and he has no prejudices despite that fact he lives in a time and an environment that is consumed by racism.

Atticus Finch lived in a time in Southern Alabama when a system of segregation and bitter racism was enforced by law kept African Americans from achieving equality or improving themselves. White people were told that they were above black people. Atticus had no such prejudice which was unrealistic for this time. Atticus is a lawyer in Maycomb, a typical southern town where racial discrimination is the normal behaviour. "Blacks" went to different churches, there was segregated seating in the courts, where all men are meant to be equal and in every aspect of their lives they were treated as inferiors.

However Atticus never succumbed to this way of thinking. When he was defending a Negro named Tom Robinson and the people in the town were threatening him for doing so Atticus never showed any sign that he doubted what he was doing. Far too idealistically he was shown to believe in the integrity of the legal system and the jury and that eventually people would see right from wrong. When Scout asks him if he is a "nigger loved" Atticus replies "I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody" (page 120). This quote shows that he believes that the blacks are his equals and that he attempts to "love" them. This attitude is so unique for that time that...