To Kill A Mockingbird - Haper Lee: Atticus Finch - Character Profile

Essay by Christinaa.xoHigh School, 10th grade September 2008

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In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Atticus Finch is not only the town lawyer but also a loving and caring father, who devotes his life to his children whom he loves so dearly. Through out the book we see him teach them many lessons, not by using violence, but simply by talking to them and treating them with respect and maturity. They look up to him and idolize him greatly. He teaches them about life and how to deal with the many problems it throws at them.

This is especially seen when the children become the victims of many taunts and ignorant remarks about the case their father is defending. Tom Robinson, a negro man, has been accused of raping a white girl and Atticus is his lawyer. The majority of Maycomb is completely against this and they make every effort to display their disapproval to all of the Finch family “my folks said your daddy was a disgrace an’ that nigger oughta hang from the water tank!”(pg 85).

But Atticus tells his children to ignore these remarks and push on. “No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ’em get your goat.” (pg 84). Small lessons like these are what make Jem and Scout love appreciate their father more. They know that no matter what happens they can rely on him to make things right and so they trust and respect what he says.

In this book we see we see Atticus not only displaying a great deal of courage, but also persistence. “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try and win” (pg 84). Atticus is taking a massive risk by defending this case. He is living in a town where racism is very popular and so by defending a black man he is exposing himself and his family to danger. He is sacrificing himself and the reputation of his family for a case he knows that he has a very remote chance of winning, but yet he continues to do so anyway. By doing so he demonstrates an act of complete selflessness and bravery. This is an example which he then sets onto his children.

He teaches them to believe in themselves and push themselves no matter what other people say. In this quote he is referring to the Tom Robinson case in which he is defending a negro man who has been accused of raping a white girl. Atticus is the only white male in Maycomb who believes this man to be innocent and so he feels that it is his duty to protect him and fight for his freedom. He shows great courage by defending this man even though he knows it goes against what everyone else in the town believes and by doing it he brings “shame” to his family.

In conclusion Atticus Finch is a devoted and loving man. He pushes himself to every limit and has no hesitation when it comes to helping others. He is a model father and a key character to this book. His children are a product of his teachings and become more and more like him as the story progresses.

Bibliography:Johnson, Claudia. To Kill a Mockingbird: Threatening Boundaries. Twayne Publishers: 1994.

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. HarperCollins: 1960