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Who is Atticus Finch? What is his purpose in Maycomb? Carefully and thoroughly, Harper Lee illustrates Atticuss respectable character through describing his actions and words in his roles as a lawyer and a father

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Introduction

"Who am I?" "What is my purpose on this planet?" These are questions each individual encounters in the course of his or her life. As authors create characters and the fantasy worlds they live in, they must place themselves in the shoes of their characters and answer these questions. Only when these questions have been answered with careful consideration can an author create a round character that his or her readers can relate to. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee demonstrates this skill in her development of Atticus's character. In the novel, besides giving the most direct physical descriptions, she creates Atticus's character not only by showing Atticus's actions, words, and beliefs, but also by showing bystanders' views of his performance in the two most important roles Atticus serves: an impartial lawyer and a caring father which gives insight about his personality as a whole. In the small town of Maycomb, Atticus is as a nondiscriminatory and respectable lawyer, a respect which he rightfully earns through his efforts and beliefs. Because his job is a very important aspect of his life and his character, Harper Lee uses this role to develop Atticus's character. As a lawyer, Atticus has many strong beliefs about what is lawfully acceptable-most important of which are justice, truth, and equality. ...read more.

Middle

However, the reader knows that Scout does not actually want to be a "proper" lady, and forcing her to do so would be going against Atticus's motto: "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it." (pg. 31) This aspect is characteristic of Atticus's understanding nature. He is able to disregard others' criticism to do what he thinks is best for his daughter, instead of being affected by society. On the other hand, the reader learns that Scout and Jem are also occasionally discontent about their father's age because his old age makes him unable to do what other younger fathers can do, like play football. This minor flaw gives the reader a better idea of the father-children relationship he has with Scout and Jem: instead of being able to relate to them more on a friend-to-friend basis, he acts as a mentor, standing on the sidelines while lecturing his children about what is wrong and why it is wrong in all aspects of life instead to teaching them through demonstration. However, though his children may sometimes be temporarily discontent about his age, it is also his age and wisdom that wins the respect of his children, making his word rule and himself the ultimate role model. ...read more.

Conclusion

In fact, this is the "only time [Scout] ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something" (pg. 98) which shows just how strongly Atticus believes in this sense of equity and justice, as well as his intense disapproval of unnecessary violence. These three main aspects of Atticus illustrated by Harper Lee's descriptions of his actions, words, and beliefs develops Atticus's character into the strong moral backbone of Maycomb, making him an admirable and dependable lawyer, father, and person. Who is Atticus Finch? What is his purpose in Maycomb? Carefully and thoroughly, Harper Lee illustrates Atticus's respectable character through describing his actions and words in his roles and a lawyer and a father, building and shaping his character as a whole. His purpose in the community is to be a model for others to follow, a figure for others to look up to, and a conscience that guides those who have strayed from their path. And though he may not be perfect in every way, even his flaws reflect his good nature. In everyone community, there must be an Atticus Finch who stands rigidly for his beliefs of justice and equality yet opens his forgiving arms to show compassion and understanding to others. In a world of discrimination, hostility, and violence, he is the shining example that reminds others to take a baby-step towards doing what's right to make the world a better place for everyone. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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