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Atticus Finch: Literature’s Best Dad Of The Century

980 words - 4 pages

“‘The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience,’”(140). This little slice of wisdom was uttered by a man many hail as the world’s best fictional dad, Atticus Finch. Both in and out of his literary world, the Pulitzer Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus is looked up to by adults and children alike. Some of the reasons so many people think Atticus is a good parent are that he is stoic and levelheaded, he listens to his kids, and he has good morals that he instills in his children and follows in his everyday life.

Atticus is well-known in the modern age for being a calm, stoic, and unwavering figurehead, no matter the situation. Even while watching Miss Maudie’s house burn down, he simply stands there, as if he “might be watching a football game,”(94). His mannerisms not only show the others present that he is an unknowingly strong male role model, they also calm the atmosphere of the entire street, even if only by a minuscule amount. This depicts his status as a good father because it supplies his kids with someone to look up to in a crisis. Atticus proves that he is a worthy role model when Jem uses his unruffled likeness to assure Scout that all will be well: “‘Don’t worry, Scout, it’s not time to worry yet,’ said Jem, … ‘see there, [Atticus isn’t] worried yet,’”(94). This is significant because it also teaches the kids to follow in Atticus’s footsteps and be more placid and less temperamental. These quotes also illustrate just how much authority Atticus has over Scout and Jem’s decisions and actions. Not only does Atticus’s seemingly eternal state of serenity set a good example for his children, it also makes him a subconscious leader for the rest of the town.

Even though he doesn’t like to discipline his children, Jem and Scout still listen to Atticus, probably because he always returns the favor. When his two offspring fight, Atticus always listens to both sides of the story before coming to a consensus. When Scout’s Uncle Jack Doesn’t follow this philosophy, prosecuting Scout without proper representation, she tries to explain to him how it works: “‘When Jem an’ I fuss Atticus Doesn’t ever just listen to Jem’s side, he hears mine too,’”(113). This portrays how, as a defense attorney, Atticus always takes his work home with him, reading legal works and following the bill of rights daily, but in this case, it’s not a bad thing. When Atticus is trying to teach Scout not to do something, he listens to her story of why she does it before he issues his rebuttal, explaining to her why she shouldn’t, like when she told him she wanted to say the n-word...

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