Atticus Atticus Finch is a widower of 50 and is raising his children alone. He stands out as a man of courage and reason. In many ways he is central to the whole point of the novel. In the face of prejudice and strong emotions of the people of Maycomb he tries to make his own children see that it is better to use one’s head than resort to fists. His bravery in defending Tom Robinson, knowing the likely outcome , and the lack of sympathy from the townspeople, are both considerable and admirable. He is driven by a strong belief in the equality of men before the law, and although he fails this time to gain a verdict it does not diminish his faith in the law. Atticus is subjected to criticism from his brother and sister because of the way he raises his children. Although he gives them a considerable amount of freedom he demands high standards of courtesy, honesty and good manners from them. He is very fair with them and will always listen to both sides of an argument. He represents the voice of truth and fairness in the community. Atticus is also a truly religious man, who puts into practice teaching on love, tolerance and forgiveness of others. As he tells Scout ‘I do my best to love everybody’ He teaches his children not to bear grudges and tries to find excuses even for his enemies. Finally Atticus represents the admirable side of the traditional Southern gentleman. He is supremely courteous to all females even Mrs. Dubose. Atticus’s manner is cool and dry and his speech is formal but his heart is warm. He is invariably kind and considerate to others. At Miss Maudie’s fire he is the one who remembers to save her favourite rocking chair. He is Harper Lees ideal of a true gentleman and a true hero.