Atticus Finch As A Heroic Character In To Kill A Mockingbird
Throughout “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Atticus Finch holds the belief that people should be given the opportunity to meet their full potential. He embodies the idealistic view of the world and as a lawyer he knows people are imperfect and understands that they fail, which is a lesson he tries to teach to his children, Jem and Scout. In his attempts to show them that though people can be racist, narrow-minded and difficult, they are still worthy of compassion and respect.
Atticus’s overall generosity in how he views people allows him to see the courage in Mrs. Dubose, even when she insults him for defending Tom Robinson and telling Jem and Scout that they are no good because of their father. Atticus is an open-minded and calm person; this makes it possible for him to get along in his community where many people are not very open-minded. His neighbor’s thoughts and morals are taught by their parents, and they pass those along to their children for generations, corrupting the minds of the new generation. Atticus on the other hand goes against the norm of spreading hate and teaches the lesson of love to his children. Atticus takes Tom Robinson’s case without hesitation believing that he deserved a second chance, not caring whether people will continue to like him. He not only teaches his children a lesson, he teaches the town a lesson as well. Atticus made Mr. Deas realize that he shouldn’t judge people by their skin color or anything external, which causes Mr. Deas to hire Tom Robinson’s wife. Because he treated everyone with respect and treated no one differently, Atticus had many people who were always kind and willing to help him and his family. His belief that no one was above him or beneath him made him a respectable person in his town, even after he took the case of Tom Robinson.
The age-old battle of good and evil is represented through the interaction between Bob Ewell and Atticus. Bob Ewell spits in Atticus’s face and instead of retaliation, which would be the expected reaction of most people, he instead continues walking. Harper Lee uses this interaction to prove that Bob Ewell is the face of racial injustice and social inequality while Atticus is the face of good and justice. Atticus shows the town to not judge someone based on their skin or what they look like on the outside, but that most people are learned better by spending time with them and getting to know them truly. Atticus’s superiority over the evil thoughts and actions of the town suggest that Atticus is the new generation. He is the one to help others and create change in the world that was originally racist and close-minded. His ability to show his children that you aren’t born with hate, that you are taught it, shows that audience that the change in the world starts with you.
Harper Lee’s message of equality and social justice is put into one man instead of a whole story. The idealistic hero Atticus Finch is represented through his ability to be calm and respectful. Through his hardships he teaches not only his children but his town lessons of respect, justice, and equality no matter what they look like on the outside.