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To Kill A Mockingbird: Atticus Finch is a Role Model

By melsisisa123 Jan 02, 2014 759 Words
Literary Analysis Rough Draft
Similar to Abraham Lincoln, Atticus Finch is a lawyer who is persistent in his beliefs even though others might be against him. The people in Maycomb respect Atticus Finch because of his integrity, courage, tolerance, consistent strength, self-possession, and his sense of justice. In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is a role model. Instead of ignoring his children’s curiosity like other parents, Atticus Finch is always willing to answer Scout and Jem’s questions. He treats his children as adults and shows his respect to them. Atticus sees things from different perspectives and keeps an open mind. When Scout doesn’t want to go to school, Atticus listens to her thoughts and also explains the teacher’s point of view, "I have a feeling that if you tell Miss Caroline we read every night she'll get after me“(Lee 32). While raising his children, Atticus doesn’t only tell them how they should behave, but help them understand why they should behave in this certain way. His morals affect his children. Jem looks forward to be a person like Atticus Finch by saying “I wouldn’t care if he couldn’t do a blessed thing. Atticus is a gentleman just like me”(131). Atticus teaches his children to be a model of courtesy and amicability. Scout admires Atticus when he waves gallantly to Mrs. Dubose, an elderly, ill-tempered woman who lives near the Finches, “it was times like these when I thought my father…, was the bravest man who ever lived” (105). Scout and Jem are both proud of their father, Atticus Finch, a respectful man who gives meaningful advices and speeches to his children. Atticus’s sense of justice is impeccable. He thinks all human beings, irrespective of race, age, or gender should be equal. He is a lawyer who uses his mind instead of his fists, who stands in the gap and always does the things other people are unwilling and afraid to do. Although Atticus’s decision of defending Tom Robinson, a black being accused of raping a white woman, brings threats to his family, he still tries his best to help Tom and believes Tom is innocent. Atticus tells Scout they should do whatever to win the trial even the chances is low, “simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us no to try to win” (101). His integrity and love for others drives him to do his best contributing to the society. When Scout asks Atticus why others are calling him a nigger-lover, he says, “nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything…I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody”(109). But most importantly, he practices what he preaches; he follows his own moral code. “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience” (105), states Atticus will make honorable decisions even when others don’t accept these decisions. Atticus stands for equality, and he always does his best to ensure it. Living in quiet dignity, Atticus Finch keeps his conscience clear regardless of what other people say. Townspeople once called Atticus the “One-Shot Finch”, but he refuses to take unfair advantages over other living things, and decides not to shoot until he has to. Ms. Maudie comments, “people in their right minds never take pride in their talents” (112). After the trial, when Atticus visits Tom Robinson’s family, Bob Ewell spits on him; in response, Atticus simply takes out a handkerchief to wipe his face and walks away. His peaceful response is one of the examples of his quiet dignity. Atticus is the hero in the novel, he stands up for what is just, respects others and displays reason, patience and humility. Despite the fact Bob Ewell wins the case against Tom Robinson, he once asks Atticus, “too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin’ bastard” (217), Atticus replies, “no, too old” (217). Again, he shows the readers a way to live by one’s own moral standards, even being challenged by others. Unlike other arrogant folks, Atticus Finch’s dignity appeared in his authentic humility. Atticus Finch is a symbol of justice, who doesn’t have to prove himself with anything as his personality says all. With his convictions, wisdom, and probity, Atticus functions as the novel’s moral backbone. He is a role model for the society; the way he carries himself, teaches his children, and makes his choices inspire us to rise above the current level and make a difference.

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