Heroism of Atticus Finch in the Novel To Kill A Mockingbird

May 19, 2022 by Essay Writer

In the novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, Atticus Finch is considered to be the hero of the story. Atticus is a lawyer who believes in justice for everyone, and what is right to do in all cases. He constantly is reinforcing these ideas into his kids’ daily lives, and is a great model for what a hero should be and do. Atticus is considered a hero because cares for everyone as equals, his courageous and brave personality, and he defended a man of color in court.

Atticus treats everyone in the story as equals, no matter the circumstance. He gives everyone a fair treatment, and only relies on the facts in order to complete a fair trial for everyone. Being that Atticus is one of the only people in Maycomb that believes in equality within races, this is the perfect assignment for him, although he is putting both himself and his family at risk, with possible mob attacks and revolting.

The way Atticus displays his intellect in the courtroom and in law is amazing, and the way he raises his children using this intellect is even better. Scout is raised in a world where racism is still at large in Maycomb, Alabama during the Great Depression, and it is Atticus’s responsibility to make sure he teaches his children that equality exists, and convince them to not grow up with the same prejudices that the town has.

In the scene where Scout is voicing her side of the Bob Ewell attack to the judge, Heck and Atticus have two different opinions on the situation. Atticus stated that “Bob must have been mad to do what he did.” (Lee 273). Heck responds with ‘Mr. Finch, there’s just some kind of men you have to shoot before you can say hidy to ’em. Even then, they ain’t worth the bullet it takes to shoot ’em. Ewell ‘as one of ’em.’ (Lee 273).

This suggests that Heck and Atticus have two different points of view: Atticus has too much trust within good nature in humans, while Heck has seen different sides of people, and understands that some people are just wired differently. The major theme in this scene is how the human mind breakdown is conducted within Atticus, and shows that he has confidence that all humans have good nature, but can be corrupted along the way. This is not necessarily a bad perspective to look at, as it helps him raise his kids to be good people later in life, and live a life that models his good morals.

The courage and bravery that Atticus possesses in this story is remarkable. The toughness he shows in his pursuit to defend Tom Robinson is clear, as he never cracks under pressure. The major key to being able to being able to maintain courage during a tough situation is being able to push back, and to conquer all obstacles in his way. The way that Atticus accomplishes these important keys is to keep calm and prevent himself from becoming something he isn’t is, which would degrade his morals completely.

The night before Tom’s trial, he is placed inside a jail cell. An angry mob appears to come for Tom Robinson, with the goal of lynching him. Atticus also comes to the scene, but to confront the mob. He stops the mob from lynching Tom Robinson, but Jem and Scout snuck out of the house to help their father. The result of seeing Atticus in the middle of the confrontation with the mob gave them first-hand experience at the racial horrors that exist within the town. Atticus warned the children about what they would see in the world, and how they can become better, but he never wanted Jem and Scout to see it that way.

Not much really happens in the boring little town of Maycomb, every day is pretty much the same. Scout and Jem see their father as rather old and physically retired, but on the day that a rabid dog runs rampant throughout the city, their opinions on their father completely changes. As the rabies-infected dog runs amok, Atticus decides to take it upon himself to shoot the dog and save people from being harmed. It is here, in this point in the story, that the town, Jem and Scout learn that Atticus has the best shot in the town, but more importantly, shows traits of being a hero in any way he can.

Atticus is the only lawyer who is willing to take on the Tom Robinson case. The main reason why Atticus deciding to assist Tom Robinson in court is such a big deal is because the town is predominantly racist, and have no respect for colored people. What this means is that Atticus is putting himself at risk by trying to help Tom win his case, due to the town possibly revolting at Atticus for defending a black man and the chances of winning this court case are very low, as already mentioned, the jury is made up of people who live in the racist town of Maycomb. The fact that Atticus is willing to take this risk in order to ensure that Tom is declared innocent is a great example of the courage and bravery he has as he approaches this situation.

The way that Atticus keeps his composure during the defending of Tom in court is really brave. When Bob Ewell spits at Atticus in the courtroom, instead of yelling at him or getting in his face, he instead doesn’t do anything, and just keeps his attention focused on the case, which is a really interesting aspect to look at when dissecting his personality traits. The trust he has within good human nature reflects with the golden rule of “do to others as you want to be treated”, as he resists the urges of lashing out at someone. The morality and rationality that exists within him are defined throughout the story.

There are many things that can classify what a hero is, and everyone has a different interpretation on what a hero could be. In the novel ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, Atticus Finch is considered to be the hero of the story. Atticus is considered a hero because cares for everyone as equals, his courageous and brave personality, and he defended a man of color in court. The way atticus displayed his bravery to defend Tom Robinson, in a town where everyone was against him, is impeccable. More than just the life he lived as a lawyer, he was a hero to his kids, as he wanted them to grow up with the same morals he instilled in them.


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