To Kill a Mockingbird Essay (Atticus Finch)Get Your
Starting at Just $13.90 a page
Sam Milkey Hour 4 4/22/13 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.
Do you like
this material?Get help to write a similar one
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.
Author: Gene Jeremiah
To Kill a Mockingbird Essay (Atticus Finch)
We have so large base of authors that we can prepare a unique summary of any book. Don't believe? Check it!
How fast would you like to get it?
One of the most important lessons Atticus teaches his children is that empathy should not be limited to people who seem nice on the outside. Atticus tells his children to use their imaginations, and feel what others feel before making a judgement. He instills this in their brains so they can fight off Maycomb’s usual disease. Maycomb’s “disease” is racism and having a judgemental mentality. “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,” (lines 9-13, pg 33.) Atticus is telling Scout that you never really know where a person is coming from until you’ve been there yourself. Another example of his empathy teachings is the understanding and respect he has towards Mrs.Dubose even though she says cruel things about him. Atticus is always positive towards Mrs.Dubose. “She’s an old lady and she’s ill. You just hold your head high and be a gentleman. Whatever she says to you, it’s your job not to let her make you mad,” (lines 23-25, pg 115.) These lines are being spoken by Atticus to his son Jem. Atticus knows Mrs. Dubose has been raised differently than they have. Atticus gives them things to consider before judging Mrs. Dubose negatively. The last example I’d like to point out is that Atticus was being a good example to his kids by showing empathy towards a mean and unruly man like Bob Ewell. When Bob Ewell spit in his face, Atticus simply walked away and took it. He tells Jem: “Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes a minute. I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one extra beating, that’s something I’ll gladly take,” (lines 23-29, pg 249.) Atticus showed empathy towards Bob Ewell, and his kids. Atticus showed a lot of strength and dignity by resisting any sort of retaliation he could have made. He taught his son to care for others, no matter how filthy their sins are.
Atticus teaches his children the mockingbird lesson: “Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” The mockingbird lesson is that you should never show aggression towards someone that has never done any little thing to harm you. A mockingbird is someone innocent and pure of heart like Atticus, Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. Atticus himself is a mockingbird because sees the best in everyone. Atticus has a lot of innocence to him, he is a good man. Although Bob Ewell spat in his face, he thought Bob was all talk. Atticus did not think Bob Ewell would go as low as hurting his very own kin but in the end, Mr. Ewell went after the little Finches to get back at Atticus. Boo Radley is a mockingbird because even though the entire town spreads nasty rumours and lies about him, he is a true gentleman at heart. When Bob Ewell went to attack Scout and Jem, Boo came to the rescue and killed Mr. Ewell. Atticus wanted to get down to the real reason why Bob Ewell died and the sheriff knew it would be a sin to give attention to Boo Radley. Scout says: “Well, it’d be sort of like shootin’ a mockingbird, wouldn’t it?”(Line 25, pg 317.)Scout knows that Boo is innocent in the act that he has done. He is simply a mockingbird. The children feel a sense of belonging to Mr. Radley, although he is not their “real” father, Boo has become a person much like their very own father Atticus in their eyes. Boo does many kind things for the children such as leaving them little presents in the tree house. In their time of need Boo Radley was always there for his children, Scout and Jem. Finally, the last mockingbird Scout has discovered in the story is Tom Robinson. Mockingbirds contribute to society the way real mockingbirds sing and entertain us with beautiful music to our ears. Tom Robinson helps Mayella Ewell with things she needs done around the house. Although Mr. Robinson knew that just by being there he could get into so much trouble, he felt sorry for her and helped her anyway. Tom felt empathy towards Mayella the way Atticus would for anyone, and Scout saw that in him. Atticus taught the mockingbird lesson so well that Scout can understand the difference between mockingbirds and bluejays.
Atticus knows that a person cannot be imaginative or understand simple metaphors likening people to mockingbirds, if his thinking is rigid. Atticus teaches the children to allow for flexibility in decision making. Scout’s first lesson about being flexible with decision making is when she is taught that sometimes it’s necessary to bend the rules. “Sometimes it’s better to bend the law a little in special cases,” (lines 25-26, pg 33.) One example of this is that Scout bends the rules Miss Caroline has given her. Scout agreed with her father to read every night if she goes to school and never mentions a word about it to her teacher. In my opinion, another example of “bending the law,” is that Atticus Finch and the little Finches (Jem and Scout) bend society’s laws. They do not take the word of a white man over a black man, but they think for themselves. That in itself is rebellious and flexible. It is flexible because just like Scout has to go to school, the Finches have to live in Maycomb which is divided by race and class. The Finches don’t judge that way, even though everyone else does. The last example of Atticus teaching his children about being flexible is in the end, Scout agrees with the Sheriff and lets him bend the rules to keep Bob Ewell’s case low profile in order to keep Boo from being given a lot of attention.