Courage of Atticus Finch

4 April 2017

Atticus Finch, a dedicated lawyer and compassionate father of two, shows many instances of great courage as he fights against racism to ensure justice when an innocent black man is accused of rape in a small southern town. His actions through out the trial, as well as his personal life, each one displaying compassion, courage, and dedication idolized him in many people’s eyes and eventually won him the title of fim’s number one hero of all time.

Buddha defined compassion as “that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. ” The book of Leviticus expresses it more simply as “love thy neighbor”. In To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus Finch shows compassion in every aspect of his life; in the upholding of his career, the raising of his children, and his determination to follow his own conscience while facing critique, slander, and threats. Atticus’ compassion for Tom Robinson earned him the hatred of many racist citizens in his small, southern town.

Courage of Atticus Finch Essay Example

He was insulted, threatened physically, at one point even approached by a mob of angry, poteentially violent men, but Atticus took all of this undeserved abuse with grace and the assurance that he was right in his decisions. When even the children began to hear of Atticus’ new reputation as a ‘n***** defender’ Scout asked her father how he could possibly be doing the right thing if it it made everybody so angry. Atticus replied ; “The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience. ”

Atticus, though an extremely dedicated lawyer, loves nothing more than his children; Jem and Scout Finch. He treats them as equals, allowing them to call him by his first name, and uses reason and compassion, rather than punishment, to help them mature and see their faults. One of his most important lessons was teaching Scout the concepts of compassion and empathy. When she came home angry with her new teacher he asked her to envision life from the teacher’s perspective. “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. This is a lesson that stuck through Scout all the way through the novel’s conclusion when she faces the neighborhood from Boo Radley’s porch. Winston Churchill has said that “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. ” Through out the course of The Robinson Trials Atticus displays both forms of these courage; taking on James Wright’s role of the ‘accusing finger’ in the face of his town, and holding on to a remarkable belief in peacefulness and pacifism while facing both verbal and physical attacks. The witnesses for the State, with the exception of the sheriff of Maycomb County have presented themselves to you gentlemen, to this court in the cynical confidence that their testimony would not be doubted, confident that you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption… the evil assumption that all Negroes lie, all Negroes are basically immoral beings, all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women. An assumption that one associates with minds of their caliber, and which is, in itself, gentlemen, a lie, which I do not need to point out to you. Atticus Finch’s closing statement on behalf of Tom Robinson. As a white man, standing in front of a jury and an audience of white, southern men Atticus accused the entire town of ignorance and racism, putting his reputation, his life, and, unknowingly, even his children at risk in his desire to speak the truth. “Dedication is not what others expect of you, it is what you can give to others. ” Atticus showed true dedication to his work, not in the pursuit of money, but in the true desire to help his friends and neighors, and bring justice and peace to his small town.

Atticus remained faithful to his client, with no concern for his personal reputation or the opinions of his peers. He had dedicated his life to the law, and refused to lose that dedication to appease the ignorance of others. In 2003 Atticus Finch was declared the number one literary and screen hero of all time by The American Film Institute’s CBS special. Though Atticus does nothing nearly as dramtic or spectatular as the heroes following him on the list, Indiana Jones and James Bond, his personality is marked by dedication, compassion, and the quiet, everyday courage we all yearn to have.

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