Essay on "To Kill a Mockingbird"- Atticus Finch

Essay by rufflesrcexiA+, March 2007

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In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus is portrayed as a man of legal, social, just, and loyal principles. He lives a life of humility and modesty; even so, he was a well-respected member of the Maycomb community, not only for his intelligence, but also because of his moral values, discernment and for his bravery.

It is plain to see that Atticus knows who he is, and he doesn't change to suit the likings of others, but remains himself and would have others respect him for that. "Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets."Atticus follows his conscience and, even under immense pressure from the Maycomb community does what he thinks is right by defending Tom Robinson. In the courtroom he exposes Mayella Ewell’s desperation for love from Tom Robinson and her lies to protect her father’s anger. His skill as a lawyer in revealing the truth alienates him from the community steeped in racial prejudices.

Even though Atticus knows there is no chance of them winning the case, he still takes it on and shows that he doesn’t feel superior to the Negroes. Several people called him a “nigger lover” but he just took it in his stride. He even replied to Scout “I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody.”For Atticus, to put himself and his family in this dangerous position required enormous strength of character and signifies proof of his integrity.

Atticus teaches his children to respect others. This is seen when Walter Cunningham comes over to the Finch’s house for lunch and drenches his vegetables and meat with syrup. Scout is not accustomed to this and therefore makes fun and complains about his eating habits. Atticus teaches Scout not to be judgemental and respect...