In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mocking Bird, Atticus Finch possesses many characteristics that shape him as a man, a lawyer and a father. Atticus is a wise man, devoted to justice and equality, and who feels it is his duty to live his public life as he does his private life. Atticus is also a very honest and loving father who has nothing but the best intentions for his children, Scout and Jem. Atticus is devoted to putting his legal profession before his self-image, or public perception, and is able to realize that the individual worth of a man without incorporating physical appearances. All the positive characteristics Atticus Finch possesses contribute to the reason why he is very respected and liked by most of the people of Macomb County as well as his family and close friends.
Atticus living his public life as he does his private life defines what he stands for and holds a duty he feels is important for him to fulfill as a man. When Atticus and Sherriff Heck Tate discuss what caused Bob Ewell’s death the night he attacked Jem and Scout, the Sheriff tells Atticus that Bob killed himself when he fell on his knife. However, Atticus does not believe Heck and he believes that Jem killed Bob and tells Heck Tate “If they [Scout and Jem] hear me saying downtown something different happened-Heck I wont have them anymore. I cant live one way in town and another way in my home.”(367) This quote shows Atticus is willing and devoted to make any sacrifice to live an honest and unconcealed life including letting the public know, Jem killed Bob Ewell.
Atticus always tries to be the best father he can by trying to get his kids to notice and appreciate all of the good things that are present in the world even in such a prejudice and discriminatory town such as Maycomb during the 1930’s. When Atticus and Jem are talking about the recently deceased Mrs. Dubose, Atticus tells Jem. “Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It is knowing you're licked before you begin but...
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