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To Kill a Mockingbird Essay (Atticus Finch)

By Milkman3399 May 06, 2013 997 Words
Sam Milkey
Hour 4
The Hero Of Maycomb County

All throughout time, novels have needed powerful characters, whether they be good or evil. There were many significant characters in To Kill a Mockingbird, but none as important as Atticus Finch. Throughout, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch was an ideal man who was selfless, honorable, and courageous, creating an interpretation that he alone was the hero of Maycomb County. Atticus' selfless attitude throughout To Kill A Mockingbird was one of many traits that were important. Firstly, Atticus agreed to defending Tom Robinson in court despite the criticism he received from the rest of the community. Also, his decision to defend a black man could have, and did, put him and his family in danger. Atticus knew that it was his duty as a lawyer, and a human being, to defend Tom. He knew that if he did not defend Tom, he would not have been able to live with himself and Tom would not have any chance at winning the trial. Also, Atticus allowed Bob Ewell to spit in his face, and did so without retaliation. Atticus took that disgusting gesture from Bob because he knew what his family life was like. Atticus, knowing the rage that Bob was in, said, "if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that's something I'll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that houseful of children out there" (218). Making sure that the Ewell children were safe was a higher priority to Atticus than retaliating against Bob. Atticus did not want to go down to Bob's level by fighting him, which was Bob's intent. Lastly, Atticus loved his children and was affectionate towards them. Despite all of the stressful and time consuming activities that Atticus was involved in, he made time to ensure that his children, Jem and Scout, were safe and understood the situation that he was in. Atticus brought Aunt Alexandra to their house to ensure the kids were kept good care of and supervised. Atticus' selflessness benefitted everyone around him and was an important piece of To Kill A Mockingbird. Atticus' honorable personality also played an important role throughout To Kill A Mockingbird. Most importantly, the people in Maycomb County respected and trusted Atticus enough to do all of the difficult tasks within society and knew that he would do them well. Atticus always knew what was morally right to do, and society trusted him. Miss Maudie explained to Jem and Scout that people in Maycomb were, "the safest folks in the worlds. We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us" (215). The county of Maycomb not only trusted Atticus with doing hard tasks for them, they expect it of him. Atticus is honorable enough to do the tasks for them without hesitation. Also, Atticus was honorable and trustworthy enough that Judge Taylor appointed Atticus as Tom's lawyer. Judge Taylor could have appointed anybody as Tom's lawyer, but he knew that Atticus would try his hardest, even though everyone knew the trial was a lost cause. Atticus accepted the job and did everything to the best of his ability. Judge Taylor knew that Tom deserved a good lawyer and Atticus was the perfect man for the job. Lastly, Atticus was honorable enough to never hold a grudge against anyone. Despite the terrible actions that were directed towards him and his family, he kept calm and reacted as a proper gentleman should. Atticus did not hold grudges against any of the people who criticized him for defending Tom. He allowed them to have their own opinions and respected them. Atticus' honorable and trustworthy demeanor was important to the outcome of To Kill A Mockingbird. Finally, the most obvious and important trait that Atticus displayed in To Kill A Mockingbird was courage. To begin with, Atticus killed a rabid dog, Tim Johnson. Tim Johnson was a rabid dog that happened to wander down the road that the Finch's lived on. Calpurnia spotted the dog and warned everyone. When the sheriff, Heck Tate, arrived he told Atticus to shoot it because he was such a great shot. Atticus, grabbing the gun, "yanked a ball-tipped lever as he brought the gun to his shoulder. The rifle cracked" (96). Atticus did not want to shoot the dog, but his courageous side came out and he shot the dog. Secondly, Atticus stood up for Tom when he was in jail and the Old Sarum Bunch were going to hurt him. Atticus stood in front of the jailhouse door to ensure that the mob would not harm Tom in any way. The Old Sarum bunch would not have killed Tom, but they would have roughed him up and cause him serious injury. Tom, with only one useable arm, would not have been able to defend himself against a large group of people. Atticus was courageous enough to stand up for Tom despite the fact that he could have been seriously injured. Lastly, and most importantly, Atticus was courageous enough to leave Finch's Landing and pursue his dream of going to law school. It took a lot of courage to leave behind his family to become a lawyer. The decision to leave Finch's landing, the farm that had supported his entire family since they immigrated to America, was a courages and risky one. Atticus took the chance and it worked out well for everyone. Atticus' acts of courage were very important in To Kill A Mockingbird. Throughout To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus' displays of selflessness, honor, and courage played important roles in portraying him as the hero of Maycomb County. His wide variety of positive characteristics were all characteristics of an ideal man. Atticus was the perfect man and the true hero of Maycomb County.

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