It is widely believed that Atticus Finch is one of the greatest heroes of modern literature. My opinion varies greatly with this remark. Atticus Finch is not a hero because he only had greater morals than the people of his time, he wanted to be a good role model for his children, and was only doing his job as a lawyer. It was his responsibility to defend Tom Robinson and give him an honest trial. He may have done things out of the way, but that was just to demonstrate his point. Atticus also never did anything for the benefit of other people. He only put himself in danger to prove his point.
One of the leading reasons to think that Atticus Finch is not a hero is because he was merely doing his job. His job as a lawyer was to defend Tom Robinson and to give him a fair trial. He did precisely what he was supposed to do, which is a reason to be called a good person, but not a hero. Atticus did defend Tom, but he did not end up with a fair trial. It was not Atticus' fault that the trial was biased and he tried to give him the fairest trial that he could. He may have opposed the allegations of the trial that seemed hopeless to win, but it was not at all heroic.
What Atticus did for Tom was a reason to be called a good person, not a hero. He protected Tom, even though it was not part of his job. Being a good person is different than being a hero. A hero requires someone to somehow help the community, while being a good person is just someone who helps out another person. Atticus fits more in the good person category.
Atticus Finch was just a man whose ethics were greater than the contemporary normals. In Atticus' time, it was prevalent for whites to convict blacks without them receiving a fair trial. Atticus had higher morals than the norm, so he tried to fight for what was right. He tried to give Tom the most truthful trial that he could give him.
Many everyday heroes such as firefighters and doctors save lives everyday. It is their job to save the lives of people. Atticus Finch's job is not to save lives, only to provide a fair trial. Other heroes such as Superman are constantly putting themselves in danger to protect the lives of people. Atticus put himself in danger once to prove his point. He didn't even need to put himself in danger. It was not necessary for his cause to put himself in danger, he only wanted to protect Tom, which someone else could have done. It was not his job to protect Tom, only to represent him.
Atticus may have taken the case because of Scout and Jem. He wanted to be a good role model for his children so they would look up to him and follow in his footsteps. He wanted to set a good example for Scout and Jem and teach them to stand up for what is right. He wanted his children to go against racial prejudice and follow what they believe. You can prove this because in the book, Atticus tells Scout to view everybody as equals. He even has Walter Cunningham over for dinner so he can prove this. He believes that...