To Kill a Mockingbird – Atticus Finch a Hero
Atticus, father of two and a local town lawyer, proves to be one of the main characters used to express Lee’s points. The ways in which Atticus, or any man for that matter, is labelled a ‘hero’ is to meet these, and many others, of the following criteria; they must be strong, in both will and power; they must feel for everyone, to be able to live and love with those around him, and understand with empathy; they must be able to follow their hearts, and be an effective leader to others; but most importantly, they must be able to know what is right, and know right from wrong.
He leads his children, Jen and Scout, not just by telling them how to act, but showing them proper manners in all situations of life. Atticus is not only a terrific father, but also a notable citizen in the community of Maycomb County. Throughout the entire novel, Atticus is consecutively dealing with the theme of prejudice, either through his words to his children or through his actions in the courtroom. His actions as a lawyer are just as noble and sincere, as his one aim is to achieve equality.
To Kill a Mockingbird – Atticus Finch a Hero Essay Example
This equality is something Atticus fights for in all aspects of his life, making him a great hero, to the town of Maycomb, and to the mind of the reader. One of the themes produced by the text is that of fatherhood, and the way Atticus is looked up to. Kind and understanding, strict but fair, Atticus Finch embodies everything that a father should be. A man of great strength and courage, he is Scout and Jem’s hero; the steady presence that keeps them grounded and their only connection to the adult world.
He is their teacher, their protector, and their friend. He takes on these responsibilities without hesitation, and cares far Scout and Jem the only way he knows how. He leads his children, Jen and Scout, not just by telling them how to act, but showing them proper manners in all situations of life. This is very important in the maturation of the children because they have a role model that herds them in the morally right direction. The simple act of calling him “Atticus” and not “father” brings Scout and Jem to the same level as Atticus.
They are people, not children. “[The] Best way to clear the air is to have it all out in the open. ” This shows Atticus’ faith in Scout to tell him exactly what happened the night they were attacked by Mr. Ewell. Part of Atticus’ role as a father is teacher. Most of Scout and Jem’s knowledge comes from Atticus. He teaches them the important life lessons that they can’t learn from books or blackboards. “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. ” This shows how Atticus Finch is classified as a hero from his father perspective. Another way in which Atticus fits the label of ‘hero’ is his method and morals inside the court room. Atticus, set to defend Tom Robinson against Robert Lee Ewell in a rape alligation, is frowned upon by most of the community; as such acts would have seemed preposterous at the time.
He has the courage to teach his children that they must, “learn to be compassionate and understanding of the problems and conditions of life faced by other people” enabling him to defend Tom Robinson based solely on the theory of justice and equality. Atticus represents the ‘justice’ in the community of Maycomb. This justice is not enough to guarantee Tom an unbiased and fair trial, and is proven at the end of the case. It soon becomes clear that racism is still rife in Maycomb, as Tom is sentenced and found guilty of committing rape of a white woman.
Atticus’ case, flawless and well supported, receives much gratitude from Tom’s family, and some members of the public. This shows that through times of struggle and hardship, some can still shine and do what needs to be done. This is a glimmer of hope for justice and equality in towns like Maycomb, and is yet another way in which Atticus can be proven a hero. One of the more apparent traits of a hero which Atticus possesses is that of community; to be able to live and love with those around him, and understand with empathy. An example of this is Atticus’ compassion to Mrs.
Dubose, the neighbour who, at the time, is going through a morphine withdrawal. He feels pity for her condition and pride for her ability to go through all the pain and suffering. He understands why Mrs. Dubose is so grouchy and tells Jem and Scout that “She’s an old lady and she’s ill. You just hold your head up high and be a gentleman. Whatever she says to you, it’s your job not to let her make you mad” Mrs. Dubose is a clear example of how Atticus works in his community, showing his compassion and care for others, and expecting nothing less from his children.
When Mrs. Dubose died, he does not retreat his stance on her, “Mrs Dubose won all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her view, she dies beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew. ” This is yet another example of how Atticus displays empathy to those around him, working with them and trying to create a better place. This creates a well being and well nurtured environment for those around him, displaying yet even more traits of the hero who is Atticus Finch.
Atticus Finch displays many traits understood of being a hero, to not only his children, but also to those who witness what he does, what he stands for, and how he does it all. He is the perfect role model for his children, allowing them to think for themselves and discover and mature without his help, while managing to ensure that they head the right way. His belief in equality truly outshines the discrimination which is so clearly rooted deep within the town, and in the hearts of all the people around him.
The community of which Atticus is a part of can only benefit from having him there, and by doing so, maintains a sense of fairness and equality within itself. He represents equality in a town where there is none; he represents fairness and justice in a system where none could be found; he represents a father figure, one ready to do anything to allow his children to understand the world for what it is; but mostly, Atticus Finch represents the hero within each of these things, as they represent him in a world not yet ready to accept them.