• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Is Atticus Finch a good father?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Is Atticus Finch a good father? ?To Kill a Mockingbird? is perhaps one of the most thought-provoking and influential novels ever produced; it is revered for its humour and warmth, despite tackling taboo issues such as racial inequality and rape in the deep south of America. Narrated by nine year old Scout, her father, Atticus Finch has served as a moral hero for countless readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. Atticus Finch is no ordinary man. He does not conform to society?s mannerisms, but instead, lives by his own judgements and instinctive courtesy. He treats all people he meets as his equal, despite it becoming clear that he is unlike any other literary protagonist. Living as a single father with his children Jeremy (Jem) and Jean-Louise (Scout) Finch, he does his utmost to give them a decent moral education. However, whilst his methods of parenting are now seen as liberal and forward-thinking, many people at the time would have questioned his ability as a father. Maycomb County, Alabama is an inherently racist town. Living at a time when the black civil rights movement was beginning to take hold of other regions of America, the ?Bible Belt? running along the south of the country was still in the dark ages in terms of social harmony. ...read more.

Middle

The Tom Robinson case highlights one of the major lessons learned by Jem and Scout during the course of the novel. Atticus encourages the children not to judge people and have any prejudices, he does this as he is courteous to everybody, regardless of their race, social class or even behaviour towards him. He shows the utmost self restraint and dignity when Mr Ewell spits in his face, he does not retaliate. Mrs Dubose provides the stark realisation that there are always two sides to a person by her split personality. On one hand, she is hated by the children for her cruel remarks and bad temper, however, she is admired by Atticus for her bravery and courage as she fights a morphine addiction. This is one of many indications of Atticus?s ability to recognise the good in everybody and behaves with empathy. This allows him to understand people?s motivation and therefore make some allowances for their actions. He passes on this trait to Scout and advises her that you never really understand a person until you ?step into his skin and walk around in it?. Atticus is also free from the inherent hypocrisy and double standards that appear rife among the population of Maycomb with Miss Stephanie Crawford leading the charge ? he is ?the same in his house as he is on the public streets.? Atticus appears to have the demeanour that is applauded in any father. ...read more.

Conclusion

His honesty with his children means that they trust him, and look to him for guidance. On the other hand, he is a kind, compassionate and widely respected character in the world of literature and has inspired fathers and lawyers for generations. I feel that Atticus Finch is most definitely a ?fine folk? he does the best he can with the sense he has and never feels that he has done enough for his children. It would seem that although the people of Maycomb could not appreciate the liberal parenting techniques of Atticus, it has now become commonplace for families to have more open relationships with each other and discuss topics previously untouched. While Atticus holds his children to the same high standards as he holds himself, he also is there for them when they need him. The last sentence of the novel reinforces this aspect of his character: ?He turned out the light and went into Jem's room. He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning?. Even when Jem is unconscious and has no way of knowing is happening, Atticus is there for him ? because it?s the right thing to do, even if there is nobody watching? That would fit with what we know about Atticus, but perhaps there?s a simpler reason: love. Eleanor Chick 11,1A ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. Atticus Finch & Silas Marner - Good Parents?

    The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." Atticus believes that a persons' courage stems from their soul. He also implies that courage can be found in those that hold on to their values and not get influenced by other peoples thoughts, this thought is strongly pressed by Atticus all the way through the novel.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    aren't the right sort of people for Scout to spend time with. Scout can be gracious to Walter and polite, but can't invite him over because "he is trash." Scout is upset about this and Jem tries to comfort her by explaining that Aunt Alexandra is just trying to make her into "a lady."

  1. Many characters in To Kill A Mockingbird are isolated from mainstream society. Discuss the ...

    One important quotation which showed exactly what Atticus believed in was this: "some Negroes lie, some Negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trusted around woman- black or white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men."

  2. Atticus' character - Atticus Finch is the father of Scout and Jem and is ...

    He tells Scout about the Ewells being the 'trash of Maycomb' and 'none of them had done an honest days work' going on to explain that there is no point them being there because they don't want an education. Atticus is telling Scout that she is worth an education and that she is: 'Normal folk.

  1. Comment on Atticus' role as a father. How does he behave towards his children ...

    (p233). Atticus also teaches his children to abide by their own morals and not to judge something right just because a powerful or 'respectable' person says it is. He emphasis this whilst discussing the court case with Jem. Jem questions the juries decision, saying you could not 'convict a man on

  2. According to Atticus Finch, one of the main characters in To Kill A Mockingbird, ...

    climb into Jem's skin and walk around in it: if I had gone alone to the Radly Place at two in the morning, my funeral would have been held the next afternoon. So I left Jem alone and tried not to bother him."

  1. Atticus is a very deep character. His wisdom and honour make the readers look ...

    But don't make a big production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and an evasion simply muddles them.' " Atticus is a very compassionate and perceptive man. In the very beginning of the novel, directly after Scout returns from her hard day at school, Atticus realizes something is wrong and inquires about it.

  2. What Qualities As A Father Do You Think Atticus Finch Had?

    Mr Finch is also very kind to everyone, even though it is sometimes very difficult for him to do so. "I do my best to love everybody...I'm hard put sometimes." As Judge Taylor says, "Mr Finch is always courteous to everyone."

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work