Use this mindmap to articulate the important qualities about the character you are studying.

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Atticus by Mind Map: Atticus


1.1. that there is no difference between blacks and whites, except for the colour of their skin

1.1.1. "some negroes lie, some negroes are immoral, some Negro men are not to be trused around women. - black and white. But this is a truth that applies to the human race and to no particular race of men." (Atticus' speech to the jury pg 223) Atticus believes, unlike most of the adults in Maycomb, that black and white men should be treated equally and that yes there are some men who do very bad things but they are not only the black men. There are plenty of white men who do terrible things (Bob Ewell) and a black man should not be convicted of a crime just because he has darker skin than the man standing next to him.

1.2. one should consider another persons situation before judging them

1.2.1. 'you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view' (Atticus pg 31) He strongly believed and repeatedly instilled in his children that one should consider things from another persons point of view before you can understand them

1.3. knoledge and education

1.3.1. 'If you'll conceed to the necessity of going to school....' (atticus talking to scout pg 33) ' ' Atticus said Calpurnia had more education than most colored folks' (scout narrates pg 26) Atticus values education because it means that you can understand your surroundings better and are a more knoledgable person

1.4. being kind and curtious even to people who are in the wrong

1.4.1. when Bob Ewell confronts Atticus on the post-office corner,and 'told him he'd get him if it took the rest of his life.' Atticus replies peacefully which prompted bob to ask him 'Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin' bastard?' Atticus replied 'No too old.' "Well, Mr. Finch didn't act that way to Mayella and old man Ewell when he cross-examined them. The way that man called him 'boy' all the time an' sneered at him, an' looked around at the jury every time he answered-" (19.163) Both these quotes show that Atticus was always kind to others even if they were in the wrong. In the case of Bob Ewell, Atticus never said a mean word even though Bob was rude and disrespectful towards him. And when cross-examining Mayella Ewell in court, Atticus was kind to her even though she was lying and Atticus knew she was. Unlike the other lawyer who was completely derogatory towards Atticus' witness, Tom Robinson.


2.1. Feeble/ strong

2.1.1. ‘Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty.’ (Jem says on pg 97) This is Jem’s perception of Atticus and in some physical ways he was feeble. For example, he was never involved in tackling when he played keep-away with Jem and he didn’t do much physical activity other than walking to and from work each day. However Atticus was never feeble minded. He was very strong. This is shown through him killing mad dog and his strong words in his speech to the jury.

2.2. Detached

2.2.1. ‘he sat in the living room and read.’ (pg 79) He often sat and read, leaving the children to sort out their own disputes. However he was always observing and intervened when appropriate.

2.3. Courteous, gentleman

2.3.1. 'Good evening, Mrs Dubose! You look like a picture this evening.' (pg 109) Even though Mrs Dubose was often rude and sour, Atticus would still greet her courteously and kindly.


3.1. moral values

3.1.1. “If I didn’t (defend Tom Robinson) I wouldn’t be able to hold my head up in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again.” A key example of this was his decision to defend Tom Robinson, and take abuse and be judged by the rest of Maycomb. If Atticus had of declined, he would have lost confidence in himself and his abilities to stick to his morals. Atticus was motivated by his morals to defend Tom Robinson, and that if he didn’t, he would contradict his morals and not be able to hold his head up high.

3.2. what is best for his kids

3.2.1. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view” Atticus is constantly trying to affect Jem and Scout’s upbringing, so that they don’t fall into the same trap of racism and hatred that affects the majority of Maycomb. This is evident from the start of the novel, where Atticus teaches Scout to look in other peoples shoes, understanding their views of life. The quote shows that from an early age Atticus is trying to break down the racism barrier, to understand that Black people should not be treated with disrespect, or that people should be looked down upon because they are looked down upon by the society of the day.

3.3. respect to others

3.3.1. evidence >>>> Atticus is constantly trying to show respect to everyone, even if they are clearly being rude or trying to insult him. This is clear especially in the case of Mrs Dubose, who was very judgmental of Atticus behind his back. An example of this is Mrs Dubose referring to Atticus as “No better than the niggers and trash he works for”, however when face to face with Atticus, Atticus respects Mrs Dubose, and she in turn respects Atticus


4.1. boring/not boring

4.1.1. <<<evidence As Jem grows up, his perception of Atticus changes. As a child, Jem didn’t really take much of an interest in him, seeing him as his boring father that just sat at a desk all day, when compared to other kids fathers who ‘actually did stuff’. As the novel goes on, Jem’s view changes, when he sees what Atticus does is far better than most. The turning point on Jem’s views is when Atticus shoots Tim Johnson, showing Jem that Atticus isn’t a boring old man.

4.2. can do everthing/ then can't

4.2.1. <<<evidence Throughout the novel, Scouts view of Atticus remains relatively unchanged, him being a fatherly figure. However, Scout does realize that Atticus isn’t unfallable, when a gang of townspeople confronts him, and Scout narrowly saves him. From then on in, Scout learns that Atticus cant do everything, and is on her way to growing up.

4.3. gentleman

4.3.1. <<<evidence Apart from defending Tom Robinson, Atticus is generally viewed as a gentleman by the majority of the Maycomb society. This is heavily reflected by Mrs Dubose’s view, when although she doesn’t agree with Atticus defending Tom Robinson, she respects Atticus greatly, and still considers him a gentleman.


5.1. Wears Glasses

5.1.1. ‘he wore glasses. He was nearly blind in his left eye, and said left eyes were the tribal curse of the Finches.’ (Jem recounts on page 9) This fact, contributes to the understanding of his character. He had enough money to have glasses and also he is very smart (a characteristic often associated with glasses).

5.2. old (compared to other parents)

5.2.1. "he was nearly fifty [...] He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries and there was nothing Jem or I could say about him when our classmates said 'My father - '" He was older than the other parents because he has his children later, probably because he waited for the right women before he began a family. Jem and Scout found this fact slightly embarrasing.

5.3. quite tall, possible slightly overweight

5.3.1. in the scene where scout rants to her aunt Alexandra she says "For a big man Atticus could get out of a chair faster than anyone..." This is a reference to his size as Scout explains that for a larger man he could quickly 'get out of a chair' unlike most big men who take their time.


6.1. Atticus defending Tom Robinson

6.1.1. Atticus acts against a great social stigma, and defends a man everyone knows is innocent, yet under the society of the day is almost certain to be found guilty. This also provokes attacks and intimidating confrontations from townsfolk, particularly Ewells and Cunninghams k

6.2. teaching Jem and Scout not to get caught up in Maycomb’s judgemental ways

6.2.1. Whenever Atticus is with his children, he is teaching them values that many members of Maycomb society fail to have. This is especially clear when many in Maycomb treat Jem and Scout as well as Atticus badly for defending Tom Robinson, clearly showing they haven’t considered life in Tom Robinson’s skin. trying to teach Scout and Jem not be like everyone else in Maycomb who continues to be racist.

6.3. how atticus differes from his peers in Maycomb

6.3.1. Atticus is always trying to help out others, whether they be white or in the black community Many other adults in Maycomb only worry about themselves, and how others view them, however Atticus is helping others. It is very clear Atticus values equality from the lessons he gives Jem and Scout.

6.4. Concern

6.4.1. Quote or Evidence (Including Page #) Explain