Atticus Finch: A Courageous Man with Open Mind
Atticus Finch is a widowed lawyer and the father of Jem and Scout. Atticus has many strong traits that make him a prominent leader in the community. Atticus respects others and likes to hear from both sides of an argument. He gives advice on making good decisions whether they take it or not. Although he wasn’t always popular, he also wasn’t afraid to do the right thing even when the majority doesn’t agree with.
Atticus is respectful toward his children and wants them to learn how to see both points of views. In chapter 3 it says ‘“I’m afraid our activities would be received with considerable disapprobation by the more learned authorities.” Jem and I were accustomed to our father’s last- will-and-testament diction, and we were at all times free to interrupt Atticus for a translation when it was beyond our understanding. “Huh, sir?” “I never went to school,” he said, “but I have a feeling that if you tell Miss Caroline we read every night she’ll get after me, and I wouldn’t want her after me.”’ (Lee, 31-32). Atticus lets Scout explain why she doesn’t want to go back to school and then Atticus tries to help Scout see her teacher’s point of view. In chapter 9, Scout says “When Jem an‘ I fuss Atticus doesn’t ever just listen to Jem’s side of it, he hears mine too,” (Lee, 86). Scout is appreciative that Atticus looks at both sides of the story.
Though out the novel, Atticus had given Scout advice to look at both points of views instead of fighting. In chapter 9 Atticus had just recently decided to take on Tom Robinson’s case and had to talk to Scout about how some people might talk bad about him. He says ‘“You might hear some ugly talk about it at school, but do one thing for me if you will: you just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don’t you let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change… it’s a good one, even if it does resist learning.”’ (Lee, 76). Scout had done her, best to not let people get to her but when they visit family for Christmas and scout had got frustrated and then beats Francis. Even though she forgot to think with her head she did try to apply Atticus’s advice.
When Atticus took on the Tom Robinson case, people were angry because he was representing a black man that had been accused of raping a white woman. ““She was white, and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.” (Lee, 204). This talks about how society think it’s more likely that a black man would rape a white woman compared to her kissing a black man. This lead to Atticus being shaken up, because of people’s ignorance and prejudgice toward black people. They put an innocent man to prison who later tried to escape and gets killed because of it.
To summarize, Atticus Finch’s character was a man who stood strong for what he believed even when one else agreed with him. As Atticus says in chapter 11 “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do.”(Lee, 112). Even he though knew that he wasn’t going to win the trial but he tried anyway because true courage doesn’t always mean you win.
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