Critical essay To Kill a Mocking Bird
To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee is about a lawyer called Atticus Finch who is a strong role model for his children. In this book there is so much prejudice between black and white people , and Atticus is the only white man to stand up for a black man called Tom Robinson put on trial as he has been accused of raping a white girl and even though Atticus know the odds are against him he still tries to help him. During this trial the Finch family receive a lot of abuse off the community that they just have to turn the other cheek to. He sets a good example for his children when he teaches them to treat everyone equally and with respect.
Atticus is a widower, he is an older father. Even though he cant hunt fish or play football like other fathers his children are still proud of him. Atticus is an admirable figure for his children, and his children look up to him. This is shown when Atticus says to scout, 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. What Atticus means by this is that dont judge people until you have been in situations like them. Atticus is open minded and wants his children to take his advice on board and accept other peoples views.
Atticus is a civilised man and teaches his children about the importance of knowledge, not the importance of having a gun in their hand to make them feel powerful. He is a modest man and doesnt want his children knowing that he used to be the deadliest shot in Maycomb as he doesnt think it is something the children have to know. This is shown when Mr Tate says, Didnt you know your daddys , Hush Heck, said Atticus, lets go back to town This shows that he doesnt want his children growing up thinking the only power a man can have is if they have a gun in their hand. In his views there are more important things to life such as education.
Atticus tries to encourage Jem and Scout to respect the innocent and weak. This shows that Atticus has a sensitive side and that he tries to treat everyone equally. This can be shown when Atticus says shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hitem, but remember its a sin to kill a mockingbird. This shows that he tells them not to kill a mockingbird as all it does is sings and gives people pleasure. This is linked to the theme of intolerance to the weak members of society for example Tom Robinsons case. It is also shown by the way the white community show such narrow-mindedness towards the black community.
Atticus never patronises Jem and Scout, he treats them as adults, and answers their difficult questions honestly. This shows that Atticus treats the children as an equal, which many parents didnt do. This clearly comes across when Atticus says when a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But dont make a production of it. Children are children, but can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles em. This shows that Atticus has nothing to hide from his children, and will answer his childrens questions no matter how embarrassing or hard they may be.
Atticus is a very generous man. He is sensitive to the needs of his poorer clients. This is shown when Scout asks Atticus if Mr Cunningham would ever pay them back for Atticus helping him with his entailment. Atticus says to this Not in money, but before the years out itll have been paid. You watch. This shows that Atticus will help even though they cant pay him.
Atticus is an important figure in the community, and he is well respected. Atticus has his own mind and doesnt side with other peoples opinion if he doesnt agree with them. This is also a quality he wants his children to have. This is shown when he says, I remember Arthur Radley when he was a boy. He always spoke nicely to me , no matter what folks said he did. Spoke as nicely as he knew how. He defends Arthur Radley as he has never done anything bad to Atticus and this shows that Atticus thinks for himself and doesnt let anyone do it for him.
Atticus is a man who is prepared to stand up for his beliefs despite opposition. Atticus is not a man who will be bullied into a decision, he is a man who always does the right thing. This is shown when he says As you grow older, youll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life, but let me tell you something and dont you forget it whenever a white man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. This shows he is willing to stand up for any black man and oppose a white man no matter what.
Atticus takes on this case to give black people a chance as he is not a prejudice man but he is badly treated by the community for his opinion. This is clearly shown when Mrs Dubose says Atticus Is no better than the trash he represented in court. This is effective as it shows the split between racial groups and how different members of the community have reacted to Atticus deciding to take on the Tom Robinson case. Atticus firmly believes that although people are not born equal, everyone deserves to be treated equally under the law. This is shown when Atticus says on trial, This case is as simple as black and white. This is effective as it is a black and white case that is involved with the colour of their skin, but is not a simple case as the community would always side with a white man over a black man which Atticus doesnt agree with.
Atticus always shows determination in spite of the odds against him. He cares that he is going to lose this trial but he is not giving up on Tom Robinson. This is shown when he says, Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started, is no reason not to try to win. This shows that Atticus is not going to give up without a fight. Despite how much Atticus puts into this trial the outcome is not a good one as they lose the trial.
Atticus gained enormous respect from the black community, his children, and even his sister Alexandra. This shows that Atticus tried his best to defend Tom Robinson and got a lot of respect for doing so. This is shown when Reverend Sykes says to Scout miss Jean Louise, stand up, your fathers passin. This showed that the black community showed Atticus respect, as he was the only white man to speak his mind and saying something was wrong with society. Atticus also got a great deal of respect off Jem and Scout. This is shown when Scout says, It was times like these when I thought my father who hated gun and had never been to any wars, was the bravest man who ever lived. This shows that they were truly proud of him.
In conclusion Atticus is a good role model to his children. Throughout the book Atticus is a well respected person because he listens to his conscience and this is the message he wants his children to follow. He sets very good lessons for his children all the way through the book such as how to respect others and because of this he is a very commendable and causing his children love and respect him.