Nicole Lin 3/16/15
English 2nd Period
Atticus Finch is one of the most steadfastly honest and moral characters in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Because of his outstanding intelligence, calm wisdom, and behavior, Atticus is respected by everyone, including the poor people, like the Cunningham. As a lawyer in Maycomb, Atticus Finch represents everything that someone working in the justice system should. He is fair, does not hold grudges, and looks at every situation from different sides. I have always wanted to be a lawyer, so I really admire this kind of people. I remember when I was in elementary school; there was a new student in my class who has a mental problem. After the first exam, he got an A; everyone was surprised and started to accuse him that he cheated. However, my teacher, who was similar to Atticus Finch, defended for him. My teacher did not accuse him for something he was born with. Just like Tom Robinson’s case, Atticus did not accuse him because of his skin color.
Atticus does not just tell his children things he wants them to consider important, he tries to get them to understand not only how they should behave, but why they should behave that way. Atticus uses this approach not only with his children, but with all of the people in Maycomb. For example, even though he knew he will not win Tom Robinson’s case, but that doesn't stop him from giving Tom the strongest defense he possibly can. In fact, importantly, Atticus doesn't put so much effort into Tom's case because he's an African American, but because he is innocent. Atticus feels that the justice system should be color blind, and he defends Tom as an innocent man, not a man of color. Atticus is the adult character least infected by prejudice in the novel. He has no problem with his children attending Calpurnia's African-American church, or with a black woman raising his children. He sees everyone equality. For example, he told them, “shoot all the blue jays that you want, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” (Pg. 103). This lesson is to tell them that it is wrong to kill an innocent people. As a parent in that time, although Atticus is older than most of the other children’s parents, his parenting style is quite unique to others. He treated his children as adults, honestly answering any question they have. Instead of trying to force principles of politeness on them, however, Atticus doesn't expect his kids to respect him just because he's their father, but because he acts in a way that deserves to be respect. One of the many ideas he tries to make clear to Scout throughout the novel is to not judge people, which is the primary conflict in the story. “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” (Pg. 34) is another example. Atticus clearly recognizes their problems, gives them the advice they need, and lets his children handle their problems. He is always there for them anytime they need him.
When Scout doesn't want to go back to school, Atticus doesn't just tell her that she has to go; instead, he listens to Scout's explanation of why she's upset, and tries to make her see her teacher's side of things before coming up with a compromise that makes Scout happier. He knows the importance of having good manner and reading skills, and he teaches Scout to read from a very young age. As another example, when Mrs. Dubose dies he teaches his children an important lesson about courage and strength by telling them, "I