What Does Atticus Finch Mean In To Kill A Mockingbird

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At the end of the day, a person’s character defines them. In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch possesses the characteristics of a good father and citizen of Maycomb. Through the eyes of Scout Finch, the reader can clearly see that Atticus loves his children and wants to look out for their best interests. Atticus shows his character by the way he responds to his children, neighbors, and Tom Robinson’s court case. As the father of Jem and Scout, Atticus continuously displays humility, courtesy, and selflessness.

To begin, Atticus demonstrates what true humility means. He humbles himself in his speech and never exalts himself in the presence of others. Instead of boasting about himself, Atticus remains silent about his achievements. For instance, after Atticus shoots a sick dog, Miss Maudie says to his children, “Forgot to tell you the other day that besides playing the Jew’s Harp, Atticus Finch was the deadest shot in Maycomb County in his time” (129). While the typical father might brag about his accomplishments, Atticus does not boast about his abilities. Furthermore, many people in Maycomb mock him for defending Tom Robinson in court. Most people called him a nigger-lover and other insulting names.
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Courtesy means to show politeness to others in attitude and behavior. Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose, a sickly, ill-mannered woman, acted rudely to the Finch family on numerous occasions. For example, Mrs. Dubose insults Atticus by calling him a nigger-lover. Nonetheless, Atticus still spoke politely to her by saying, “Good evening, Mrs. Dubose! You look like a picture this evening” (133). Likewise, Atticus respectfully talks to Mayella Ewell during the trial. Polite words seem so foreign to Mayella that she immediately assumes Atticus’ respectful words such as “ma’am” sounds like a form of mocking. Clearly, Atticus shows civility to both rude and kind
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