TKAM - Atticus Character Analysis

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Character Analysis – To Kill a Mockingbird Set during a time of social and moral disagreement, Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is an outstanding representation of the inner and social struggles that the citizens of the southern United States during the 1930s were faced with. In this novel, the protagonist of Atticus Finch could ultimately be described as an altruistic, good-hearted character who dealt with the social issues of the time period as virtuously as was possible. This characteristic is supported by his expressions of integrity, compassion, and wisdom in both word and action throughout this novel. Through these three traits, Lee uses Atticus’ character to shape and sculpt her tale of the courage and sacrifice it takes to stand up to injustice. To begin with, Atticus’ selflessness and moral integrity could be seen as his defining traits. Despite the fact he is surrounded by racial prejudice and intolerance, Atticus still decides to defend the case of Tom Robinson, a Negro man, against accusations of the rape and assault of a young white woman although it could cost him his reputation. In his own words, Atticus took on the case, “’…For a number of reasons, ‘…‘The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this country in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again,’” (Lee, pg. 75). This quote being his answer to his daughter’s question on why he took the case, it is evident that the he did in order to protect and defend his own personal morals, in spite of its threat to his reputation. Another example of Atticus’ devotion to his moral integrity can be found in Miss Maudie’s explanation to Atticus’ children on why their father had kept his remarkable shooting skills a secret. “’If your father’s anything, he’s civilized in his heart. Marksmanship’s a gift of God, a talent---oh, you
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