Atticus: A Character Sketch
Atticus is an honourable and well respected man. As a high-class lawyer and loving father to two children, Scout and Jem, he sets good examples and gives perceptive moral judgements. Set in the Alabama town of Maycomb during the 1930¡¯s, Harper Lee¡¯s ¡°To Kill a Mockingbird¡± deeply portrays Atticus¡¯s character, illustrating him as a concise and benevolent being. Harper has created him from the base of her imagination, yet his fullness is as great and complete as a living human being. His personality aspects are one of a heroic figure ¨C he is always willing to help someone in need. His displays of gallantry range from filling a poor boy¡¯s stomach to defending a racially discriminated African-American in a rape case.
Unlike most people in the 1930¡¯s, Atticus does not show prejudice towards people belonging to other races. He treats everyone equally and fairly, despite harsh words sneered in his direction. Life in the 30¡¯s was demanding and troublesome, and by agreeing to defend Tom Robinson, an African-American accused of rape, Atticus puts his own life on the line¡£ If an African-American was found near the scene of crime, they would be castigated because the mere color of their skin. Atticus, having this in mind, stands up for righteousness and justice rather than being dragged along by the ideas of the majority. Rather, he follows his heart¡¯s intuition, fearless of the consequences. He insists on viewing individuals much deeper than the eye perceives.
Not only does he stand up for the rights of others, Atticus is a cordial character in many other ways as well. He uses his prestigious reputation for the goods of others. He is well-known in the small town of Maycomb for being a generous and respectable lawyer, especially towards those in poverty who cannot afford to pay a lawyer in cash. Atticus is willing to receive the dues in payments of food, which works in favour for the numerous meagre farmers.
Atticus takes his cases earnestly, subjecting his heart and mind into the emotional concerns, while at the same time, not allowing himself to get sentimental. During the case of his client (the defendant) Tom Robinson vs. Mayella Ewell (the plaintiff), Atticus says to the jury these words during his closing statement: ¡°My client has the temerity to say he feels sorry for a white woman.¡± This declaration indicates that he feels that race should not make a difference in a court of law; that it is appropriate for an African-American man to pity...