Atticus is the father of Jem and Scout Finch. Tom’s case involves the rape of a white girl. Even though he is clearly innocent, Atticus struggles and fights hard for a lost cause. He represents respected, strong and heroic themes. He is very sympathetic, especially toward the black community where he delivers an astounding speech against racism during the court case. Atticus represents hope, as he stands up for the black people hoping to make a change in the attitudes against them. A hard-working lawyer and elected state official, Atticus strives to be a good role model for Scout and Jem.
He is a widower. His wife was fifteen years younger than him. She died when Scout was two years old.
Atticus is the actual main character and protagonist of the book, despite most thinking that it is Scout since she is the narrator. Most of the novel centers around him in some way such as the trail and his feelings towards both his children.
Atticus appears to be in his late forties with black hair, grey sideburns and is a thin figure, possibly hinting a lack of food thanks to Black Tuesday.
Courageous, intelligent, honourable, just, perseverant and noble. Atticus speaks with a calm and assertive tone during the court case.
QualitiesEditMiss Maudie speaks highly of Atticus. She tells Scout about his hidden talents. She explains that "he can make somebody's will so airtight can't nobody meddle with it." He is also the best checker player in town, and can play the Jew's harp. Atticus used to always be described as ‘one-shot’ Finch, being the best shot in the county. This is proven to Scout when Atticus shoots the mad dog Tim Johnson with one shot from far away.
The Tom Robinson incident and symbolismEdit
During the Tom Robinson incident and court case Atticus plays a strong and courageous role, dominating the story. Nobody wanted to confront the dog, so Atticus was the only one left to shoot it. He is represented as a courageous and hopeful man who stands up to stop/shoot the evil/mad dog approaching. The court case reflects back on the Tom Robinson incident. Atticus is represented as just with strong principles. He takes on Bob Ewell, a white man in order to represent Tom Robinson, a black man. During the case, Atticus knows he will be criticised, but he tries to win the case and free Tom.
Some quotes spoken by Atticus Finch that help readers know him better:
· "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
· "Courage is not a man with a gun in his hand. It's knowing you're licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do."
· "Bad language is a stage all children go through, and it dies with time when they learn they're not attracting attention with it."