The Philosophical position of Atticus Finch in "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

Essay by ExoHigh School, 10th gradeA+, May 2003

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"First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do." This quotation by Epictetus, a great Stoic of his time, describes Atticus Finch's reasoning during the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Atticus, the single father of two children, Jean Louise Finch (Scout) and Jeremy Atticus Finch (Jem), is a strictly static character whose strong views and sound judgment shape his relationship with them. The relationship between he and his children bases itself on the views of himself, because he is the parent. He shows these views in how he handles himself, and how he interacts with people in the novel, most of all his children. Atticus causes his children to admire him, thus making them want to follow his methods. This philosophical basis of the relationship between Atticus and his children is one of stoicism.

At this point, stoicism may be a foreign word.

It is a part of philosophy, which is the love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline. It is a way of reason, of logical thought, to come to logical conclusions. There are many different ways of logical thought, and one of them just happens to be stoicism. Stoicism, put simply is a way of living life. A stoic would say the best life, the happiest life, is the virtuous life. To shame oneself is the only fear of the stoic. He lives his life with honor and keeps to his values no matter what others think, usually causing those same people that thought wrong of him before to look up to the stoic in the end. A stoic is not concerned with the façade; his concern lies within oneself. It only follows that after one has mastered oneself, others will see that person...