The Real Atticus Finch
“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving, and tolerant of the weak and the strong -- because someday you will have been all of these,” George Washington Carver once stated. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Atticus Finch, a father of Jem and Scout and a lawyer in Maycomb County, is tender, compassionate, sympathetic and tolerant with everyone he comes in contact with. He does not care about age, appearance, or even skin color. Atticus Finch is not afraid to be himself and he is the same inside the house as he is on the street. As the novel progresses, Atticus presents himself as wise, calm, and kind-- all qualities which make him an admirable leader of Maycomb. THESIS STATEMENT Atticus is a wise person because he is able to use the knowledge he receives from his lifelong experiences to enlighten others in distinct ways. When Mrs. Dubose-- the Finch‟s elderly neighbor—dies, Atticus uses her death as an opportunity to teach Jem and Scout. She was a morphine addict who was dying of old age. Mrs. Dubose wanted to die clean of any drugs even though the withdraw process caused her much pain. Atticus believes her decision shows true courage. He explains to his children, “„I want you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It‟s when you know you‟re licked before you even begin but you begin anyways and you see it through no matter what”‟ (Lee 149). Atticus respects Mrs. Dubose for her courage and stresses that shooting the rabid dog Tim Smith 2
Johnson does not make him brave. Additionally, Atticus‟ wisdom never subsides during the trial. During his closing statement Atticus says to the jury, “„. . . A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard,...
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