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Atticus Finch by Mind Map: Atticus Finch
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Atticus Finch

Textual Issues or concerns linked to this character

Concern: There are people in society who are less fortunate than others and should be shown compassion Quote: 'Because that's the only way he can pay me, he has no money' - Atticus Finch (page 23) Explain: Atticus is showing compassion to his less fortunate clients by letting them repay him for his legal services in non-cash ways (in this case it was stove wood)

Concern: Sometimes the law can come into conflict with morality Quote: 'In certain circumstances, the common folk judiciously allow them certain privileges. Do you know what compromise is?….An agreement reached by mutual concessions' - Atticus Finch (page 34-35) Explain: Atticus is teaching Scout about compromise, by making a deal that Scout continues to go to school, but that he continues to read with her in the evening even though Miss Caroline disapproves of this. Atticus is referring to cases where people brake the law in order to feed themselves and their families, and in some cases the law makes compromises in their favour.

Concern: The importance of our legal system not having any prejudice and being relied upon to be fair to all Quote: '…in this country, our courts are the great levellers, and in our courts all men are created equal. A court is no better than each man of you sitting in the jury. A court is only as sound as its jury, and a jury is only as sound as the men who make it up.' - Atticus Finch (page 227) Explain: The point that Atticus is making, is that in court, everything must be decided upon fairly, with no prejudice or distortion of the truth. If the court fails to comply with these rules, then there is no way to keep order within the community.

Concern: Sheriff Tate is making up a cover story for how Bob Ewell died, but Atticus believes that he was killed in self defence by either Jem or Boo and that the correct legal process should be followed to prove their innocence. Quote: ''Mr Finch, I hate to fight you when you're like this. You've been under a strain tonight no man should have had to go through. Why you ain't in bed from it I don't know, but i do know that for once you haven't been able to put two and two together, and we've got to settle this tonight because tomorrow'll be to late.' - Heck Tate (303) Explain: Heck Tate is arguing with Atticus over how to handle the situation. Atticus wants to follow the law and go through proper legal processes to prove the innocence of Jem or Boo. Heck Tate wants to cover the situation up by saying Bob Ewell fell on the knife, but Atticus is reluctant due to his own morals. All through the book, Atticus has been very consistent with his principles, but in this situation, this is the first time we see him having some doubts.

Acts like

Quality: Fair-minded/Not Judgemental Quote: 'I'm going to tell you something and only tell you one time: stop tormenting that man' - Atticus Finch (54) Explain: The children were trying to send a message to Boo Radley when Atticus caught them in the act. Atticus explained to them why it was wrong to do these things to Boo Radley, just because he seems a bit different. In this quote, Atticus is defending Boo Radley's privacy, and his right to stay inside his home without being bothered by people.

Quality: Good Parent Quote: 'Scout's got to learn to keep her head and learn soon, with whats in store for her these next few months.' - Atticus Finch (page 97) Explain: Atticus is taking to Uncle Jack about how to understand children from a parents perspective. He tells Jack the importance of teaching children right from wrong - for example, bad language or hot headedness

Quality: Courage Quote: 'In ones and twos, men got out of the cars. Shadows became substance as light revealed solid shapes moving towards the jail door. Atticus remained where he was.' (page 166) Explain: This quote is describing and incident outside the jail where a mob of men come to get Tom Robinson but Atticus is waiting there to defend him. Even though Atticus is clearly outnumbered, he stays where he is and protects Tom. This is showing a lot of personal courage to be able to stand up for what you think is right even if it means personal risk.

Beliefs and values

“ …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” This quote demonstrates Atticus’s strong belief for equality. He is a very fair person and treats everyone equal not depending on if they are black or white. Atticus is explaining this to Jem and Scout who are probably too young to understand but still he tries to convey his beliefs.

"If you shouldn't be defendin' him, then why are you doin' it?" "For a number of reasons," said Atticus. "The main one is, if I didn't I couldn't hold up my head in town, I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again. Scout, simply by the nature of the work, every lawyer gets at least one case in his lifetime that affects him personally. This one's mine, I guess." Chapter 9, 82 Atticus is known as one of the most honest lawyers of the south and is well respected because of it, but causes his family a lot of grief. Atticus tries to explain to Scout why he's doing what he's doing in this case. For Atticus, being a lawyer isn't just a job, it's a personal commitment to justice and his beliefs and values shape the way he lives and works.

In the novel it is suggested that Atticus's courtroom language creeps into the way that he talks to his kids, and so does his judicial concern with fairness. As Scout tells Uncle Jack, "When Jem an' I fuss Atticus doesn't ever just listen to Jem's side of it, he hears mine too" Scout also tells Miss Maudie, "Atticus don't ever do anything to Jem and me in the house that he don't do in the yard". Atticus runs his family just like a judge would, he is the one in control, has a clear and fair set of rules that he expects his kids to follow, but always makes sure that both have their sides heard. Chapter 9, page 92

Motivated by

"Atticus, are we going to win it?" "No, honey." "Then why-" "Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win," Atticus said Atticus is motivated by a sense of justice. He feels strongly about equality and that is why he choses to take on the case. Atticus probably knows that he will lose the case but wants to give Tom Robinson the justice he deserves, which is his main motive.

“ …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” Atticus is motivated by his children to be the best role model he possible can be.Atticus tries to prove a point to Scout and Jem that people come from all walks of life and you shouldn't judge them based on appearance/ reputation.

Looks like

Atticus was a very wise man, and although it is very stereotypical, the way that harper lee portrayed this was through telling the reader that Atticus wears glasses. Atticus finch is fifty years old so he is quite a bit older than all the other children's parents, because of this he looks a lot older. "For a big man Atticus could get out of a chair faster than anyone..." this quote comes from the part of the novel where aunt Alexandra is staying with the finch family. This shows that atticus is a big man and from reading the novel in my personal opinion this isn't referring to his weight but his height. "he was much older than the parents of our school" (page 98) this quote was said just before Atticus shot the mad dog that came down the main street in town. This is also shown by when Scout and Jem wanted to play games with their father he would constantly remind them "I'm too old for that" this also meant that he was a lot wiser than anyone else in the town. "the tribal curse of the Finches" This means that Atticus has a lazy eye that ran in the finch family (left eye).

How others see him

"It was times like these when I thought my father…was the bravest man who ever lived". p54 Atticus was one of the highest respect men in the whole of Maycomb county. He was very brave in shown in the tom robinson court case and to scout he was so brave and she looked up to him. "served for years in the state legislature, elected each time without opposition" p17 "people were content to re-elect him to the state legislature that year" p129. Both of these quotes show that people were happy with Atticus electing him because they all though that he was very good at what he did. These quotes also portray how respected he was by the community and the support he had behind him. Throughout the novel, Atticus is endlessly refferend to as being a "nigger lover". The court case with Tom Robinson really changed the way that people thought of Atticus but he didn't even reconsider taking on the case because he knew that what he was doing was the right thing.