“It is far better to be trusted and respected that is to be liked.” In the story To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, is told from a child’s point of view, a girl name Jean Louise Finch that goes by the nickname Scout. Atticus Finch, her father, is the lawyer defending a black man, Tom Robinson, who has been accused of a crime. This story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama around the 1930’s. Atticus Finch does not care about age, appearance, or even skin color.
He is not afraid to be himself and he is the same inside the house as he is on the streets. As the story progresses, Atticus presents himself as kind, wise, and calm. All the qualities which make him an admirable and respected leader throughout Maycomb.
First, Atticus proves that he is one of the kindest men in Maycomb. He does not yell or swear and he treats everyone how he wants to be treated.
One day, when Scout comes home from school, she tells Atticus that her teacher Miss Caroline does not want her father to teach her how to read anymore. Scout loves to read with Atticus and does not want to stop, so she explains to him that she would like to quit school. Atticus really didn’t like that idea so he makes a promise with her saying that they can keep reading together as long as she stays in school. Rather than threatening to punish his daughter for even thinking of that idea, Atticus speaks respectfully to Scout.
Atticus always wants his children to come to him for advice so, that they grow up being kind and compassionate towards each other. Atticus also shows kindness when he tries to make Dill, Jem and Scout friend, feel better. After running away from home, Dill hides under Scout’s bed, cold and hungry, and Atticus decides to help him. Instead of telling Dill to go home without food, he talks to Scout. He says, “Scout, we can do better than a pan of cold corn bread, can’t we? You fill this fellow up and when I get back we’ll see what we can do.” Later on, Atticus realizes that Dill has a difficult home life, and with his kindness, he looks out for him as if he was his own child.
Being kind is a way to be respected, because if you’re mean and mad all the time people won’t even acknowledge you. Next, Atticus is considered wise because he is able to use things he has been taught toward his children and others in distinct ways. When Mrs. Dubose, the Finch’s elderly neighbor dies, Atticus uses her death as an opportunity to teach Jem and Scout a lesson. Mrs. Dubose was a morphine addict who was dying of old age. She wanted to die clean of any drugs even though with her giving up caused her much pain. Atticus believes her decision shows true courage and bravery.
He explains this to his children, “‘I want 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 even begin, but you begin anyways and you see it through no matter what.” Atticus respects Mrs. Dubose for her courage as much as Mrs. Dubose respects Atticus for his wisdom and good advice. Atticus thinks when Tim Johnson had shot that rabid dog that does not make him brave. Also, Atticus wisdom never gives up during the trial. During his closing statement he says to the jury, “A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up. I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence you have heard, come to a decision, and restore this defendant to his family.
In the name of God do your duty.” Atticus was trying to remind the jury that Tom is a human being with a family. That was a wise way for Atticus to end his defense strategy at the trial, because his statement leads the jury to deliberate for hours rather than minutes. Atticus defending Tom Robinson was unacceptable in the town of Maycomb. People respected him because he stood up for what he believed was right. He believed that the court was the only place what provided equal justice but it didn’t. He had real courage to do something that other people were scared of. Additionally, Calm is another way to describe Atticus Finch. He never overreacts under pressure even in the worst situations.
The day Atticus hears that Tom Robinson was shot, it was a horrible day for him, but he knew what he had to do. He had to stay calm and tell his family what had happened. Atticus explains the tragedy to Calpurnia, his cook, by saying, ‘“Depends on how you look at it. What was one Negro, more or less, among two hundred of ‘em? He wasn’t Tom to them, he was an escaping prisoner.” Atticus could have become angry with the guards that shot Tom, but instead he takes the time to see Tom’s death from the guards’ point of view. Staying calm is important, especially when dealing with someone who is unreasonable.
For an example, Bob Ewell, the father who accused Tom of raping his daughter Mayella, is one of the meanest men anyone could come in contact with. Instead of being mature and talking to Atticus when he was upset, Bob decides to take his anger out on Atticus and spits on his face. Atticus controls his actions by simply wiping his face and walking away. He could have become mad but he maintains his self control. Atticus stays calm, even in the most difficult situations. That’s what makes him so respected by so many people. People doesn’t want a leader that over reacts or doesn’t stand up for what he believes.
They want somebody that’s responsible and willing to stay strong in any circumstances. Throughout the Story, Atticus shows that being Kind, wise, and calm is the best way anyone can live his life and be respected. Atticus approaches the worst times with warnings and thoughtfulness while continuing to take care his children. Scout and Jem learn through their father that everyone makes mistakes and that resolving the problems takes skill and patience.
Atticus’s experiences serve as important life-lessons for his children rather than situations too challenging to handle. His reminder to walk in someone’s skin rather than judging him teaches his children that all people can be misunderstood just as easily as they can be appreciated. People supported his actions and respected his courage. They just don’t have their own courage to speak up for justice. Atticus’s views towards the blacks in the community are not socially acceptable; however, so people criticize him for these bad choices or risks.
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