To Kill a Mockingbird: Atticus Finch

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee demonstrates a very detailed image of Atticus Finch as he deals with his quarrels and dissensions. As he goes about his normal life in Maycomb county, he is faced with troubles including hate, racism, and disappointing his acquaintances by sticking up for an African American man. Despite being talked down on and being disrespected by everyone around him, he puts on a smile and demonstrates a character that inspires not only his children but his friends and some of the Maycomb county. Atticus chooses time and time again to do the right and fair decision. Despite many trials and tribulations, Atticus Finch stays true to his character and demonstrates bravery, fairness, and peacefulness.

Throughout the novel and his complications, Lee portrays Atticus as brave to show he fights for what he know is right even if it will cause troubles in the future. In chapter 10, there is a mad dog roaming which causes worry and potential harm. He steps up to take charge and shoots the mad creature, ensuring the town’s safety. Although he has not touched a gun in almost thirty years, he “yanked a ball-tipped lever as he brought the gun to his shoulder” (Lee 110) . He killed the beast in one swift movement, revealing heroic traits as the townsfolk applaud and thanked him.

At a time of racism when Maycomb is divided, Atticus steps in to show fairness to both races and sides of the disagreement. He goes out of his way to stay true to his morals and his character. In chapter 20, Atticus was giving this statement to the courtroom during Tom Robinson’s trial. “I have nothing but pity in my heart for the chief witness for the state, but my pity does extend so far as to her putting a man’s life at stake, which she has done in an effort to get rid of her own guilt” (Lee 231). He tells Mayella and her father, Bob, that he pities her and what she says happened to her, but he does not feel bad enough for her that he condones putting Tom’s life at risk just because she wants to get rid of her own guilt.

When the people are against each other and when families, friends, love, and trust are being torn apart. Lee presents the idea that peacefulness is shown when Atticus remains calm and collected. When being spat at, cussed at, threatened, and being talked down on, he keeps his cool and does not react heinously to the antagonist. In the text, Lee says that “Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post office corner, spat in his face, and told him he’d get him if it took the rest of his life” (247). After being faced with such a disgusting interaction, Atticus simply states “I wish Bob Ewell wouldn’t chew tobacco” (Lee 248). We see that despite being heavily disrespected, he reacts politely with peace. Any normal person would have reacted hatefully back, but not Atticus Finch.

In the final analysis, it can be seen how Harper Lee uses Atticus Finch as an example to show her thoughts and opinions about social justice given his characteristics and how he reacts when faced with conflict. He takes charge when faced with something bigger than him, he treats both sides of the case with equal respect, and he reacts gracefully to situations that aren’t always ideal or beneficial to him and his family. Atticus is a man who demonstrates bravery, fairness, and peacefulness which is revealed time and time again in To Kill a Mockingbird.  

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