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Atticus Finch Essay

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee / Pages: 6 (1280 words) / Published: Sep 15th, 2013
1) Kind and understanding, strict but fair, Atticus Finch embodies everything that a father should be, evidence of this is in Scouts description of her and her brother views of their father,“Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us and treated us with courteous detachment.” showing he does what a father is obliged to do but treats them as he would treat anyone else and that they are on the same level as him. A man of great strength and courage, he is Scout and Jem's hero; the steady presence that keeps them grounded and their only connection to the adult world. He is their teacher, their protector, and their friend. He takes on these responsibilities without hesitation, and cares far Scout and Jem the only way he knows how. Some say it's a misguided effort at parenthood, but Atticus' treatment of his children are what make him an exemplary father. Atticus' unique relationship with Scout and Jem is built on equality and respect, and helps to create his "father of the year" character. The simple act of calling him "Atticus" and not "father" brings Scout and Jem to the same level as Atticus. They are people, not children. "Jem protested, then pleaded, and Atticus said, `All right, you can come with us if you stay in the car'" showing that by allowing Jem and Dill to accompany him and Calpurnia to tell Mrs. Robinson about Tom's death, Atticus demonstrates his respect for Jem and Dill, and his faith in their maturity. Part of Atticus' role as a father is teacher. Most of Scout and Jem's knowledge comes from Atticus. He teaches them the important life lessons that they can't learn in school or in a book " `You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view...until you climb into his skin and walk around in it'". This helps the us, the readers, to appreciate the special bond between Atticus and his children. They respect him as their father, and they value his opinions and advice. In addition to sharing his thoughts and wisdom with Scout and Jem, Atticus teaches through example. His lessons in morality and ethics come in the courtroom, when he's defending Tom Robinson. " `You know the truth, and the truth is this: some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around women- black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men. There is not a person in this courtroom who has never told a lie, who has never done an immoral thing, and there is no man living who has never looked upon a woman without desire'". This is part of Atticus' closing statement to the jury. During this chapter Atticus teaches Scout and Jem and the rest of the courtroom that justice is not fair. That justice is not done if a black man is convicted because he is black, and a white man walks free because he is white. Although most people in the courtroom will disregard them, his comments will have a dynamic effect on the future actions of Scout and Jem. The success of any father can be measured in many ways, but can most easily be measured by the attitudes and actions of his children. Throughout the novel Scout and Jem consistently display the tolerance and respect that Atticus has instilled in them. They are curious, intelligent, polite and giving and will surely grow up to be just like their father. This is what makes Atticus a great father.

2) Atticus tries to educate his children to respect all individuals despite the fact that people are not always friendly. He does so with Mrs. Dubose. Even though she accuses him of being “a nigger-lover” and also criticizes his children, he still he still talks to her in a calm respectful manner. He does so in a way to set an example for his children for example- one day as they walked by Mrs. Dubose's house he said "Good evening, Mrs. Dubose! You look like a picture this evening.". He purposely does this in front of his children in order for them to learn that even though people may be rude, they must not answer back at them. He tries to teach Jem and Scout not to judge people, but rather look at their qualities and faults. Therefore, Atticus was setting an example for his children. Since he wants them to learn how to respect all people the way they are. Later on in the story, when Mrs. Dubose passed away, Atticus told them that the reason behind Jem reading to her every evening was so that she could lay off the morphine and eventually overcome her addiction. As we have clearly seen, Atticus does not use force or any aggressive manners to make them learn things. He tends to be more assertive by giving them punishments that were severe but not in a physical way. Otherwise, he is passive and tells them to figure it out themselves and fix their own problems since they managed to land in these situations. Concerning the Maycomb community, Atticus tirelessly tries to change the distorted thought process of the town. The lawyer tries to make the people of Maycomb realise that it is not because of the person's colour that makes them innocent or guilty. Nor is it the finical status of a person that decides the amount of respect they deserve. He demonstrates this in the courtroom while defending Tom Robinson against bob Ewell and his daughter Mayella. When Atticus talks to them or refers to them, he always uses Mr. or Miss. He does so using all the witnesses that were called up to the stand. He almost succeeded to do so in his closing remarks and when he cites his version of the events. It took a while for the jury to re-enter the room for they had troubles coming to a verdict. The amount of time it took represented that Atticus was able to convince some members of the jury that Tom was innocent and that Mayella had in fact seduced him.
3) Harper Lee wrote the book in a way that she would keep us in suspense. This is especially shown when Atticus is questioning Mayella Ewell. Atticus asked Mayella questions and called her “ma’am” which was something she had never been called before so she didn’t react well. This made her flustered and also made her say that Tom Robinson had thrown her down and beat her up. After this Atticus made Tom Robinson stand up only for the audience to see that he had a crippled arm. It was moments like this that made us, as readers not want to stop reading because we wanted to know what would happen next. We wanted to know what else Mayella would say. Harper Lee creates the suspension by writing the conversation between Atticus and Mayella Ewell. Lee shows how educated Atticus is in contrast to how uneducated Mayella is by the different language they use. It makes it interesting for the reader and it helps us be able to show who is talking at what moment. At the end of the trial, Atticus has done a good job making the reader think that Tom Robinson will go free. When actually, the jury finds him guilty. Harper Lee does this to shock the readers and to make them want to continue to read to see what happens after the trial, therefore continuing to hold our interest.

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