To Kill a Mockingbird –
Atticus Finch is the father of Scout and Jem Finch who lives in the small Alabama town called Maycomb. To the consternation of Maycomb’s racist white community, Atticus agrees to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a white woman. Atticus was willing to go against the majority, in an effort to do what he believed to be the correct ethical choice, which made him a noble person and an excellent role model for his children. "Well, most folks seem to think they're right and you're wrong...." "They're certainly entitled to think that, and they're entitled to full respect for their opinions," said Atticus, "but before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." (11.54-57) While Atticus says that he’s no idealist, the fact that he’s been realistic throughout about his extremely low chances of winning this case suggests that Atticus has a "be the change you wish to see in the world" bumper sticker on his car: he’s acting as if the outcome he knows is impossible is actually the only possible income, in an attempt to make it so. The most important reason Finch was a hero in this novel is the fact that he had the courage to defend someone who was helpless in a society full of racism and sexism. To defend a black man in court during this time period was an extremely dangerous venture. While Atticus could have looked the other way and saved himself from a very stressing and physically dangerous situation, he chose to help Tom and prevented a major injustice. He's also literal hero in the sense that he shot the rabid mad dog, Tim Johnson, before it could attack or spread rabies to anyone in Maycomb. This all relates to the needs of the modern world because Atticus Finch teaches us a lesson about how we should act and behave when a person needs to face a tough decision. Racism is still present in the modern day society. Racism...
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