13 April 2010
To Kill a Mockingbird
The definition of a superhero is a chief male character in a book, play, or movie, who is typically identified with good qualities. There are many superheroes in the modern world today. Two examples of heroes are Spiderman or Superman. These heroes have many things in common. They have supernatural powers and fight off villains with their hands, but that is not always needed to be a hero. Many people look up to them. Atticus Finch from the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is considered a hero by his example to his kids, his fairness to the black community, and by his peaceful attitude.
Atticus has two kids, Jem and Scout. He always set a good example for them. He acted on what he taught. Atticus once saved the neighborhood from a rabid dog by shooting and killing it. Jem thought it was heroic and showed courage but Atticus corrects him. He makes Jem read to a lady every day for a while. Jem had no idea why until he learned the reason. She was addicted to morphine and she didn’t want to die addicted. As a distraction Jem read to her. Atticus did this to show him what real courage is. He said, “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 through no matter what.” (Lee 112) Later in the book he acted on what he had stated. He represented a man in court and fought for him knowing there was no chance of winning. This is heroic because he sets an example for his kids.
Racism was very common in the time setting of the book. It wasn’t right for whites to care for blacks. Atticus never cared about skin tone and thought of everyone as equal. Atticus was assigned a black man named Tom Robinson to represent in court. Typically if a black man was tried for anything the lawyer that was assigned to them were unfair and impartial. They did not attempt to defend them. However Atticus did his best to represent him. He defended him correctly knowing that this would put his life in danger along with his reputation. This shows his heroism because he was courageous and fair to the black community.