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To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

1064 words - 4 pages

Although Atticus describes Mrs Dubose as "the bravest person I ever knew", it is Atticus himself who is the real hero of the novel. Examine the character of Atticus and comment on whether you believe him to be a hero.In the novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird', Atticus Finch is a prominent figure of justice and equality. He shows true courage, acceptance and fairness. Atticus is the hero in the novel because he stands up for what is just, respects others and displays reason, patience and humility.Atticus Finch does not conform to others. He believes in an individual conscience and tries to teach his children the morals of being a fair and unbiased person. He teaches his children that it is important to follow your conscience and not be influenced by other people's prejudice."Before I can live with other folks I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide my majority rule is a person's conscience." (pg 111)Throughout the whole novel, his children constantly admire Atticus for keeping a level head. He stays calm in even the most provocative situations and sees things from every perspective, keeping an open mind. A perfect example of Atticus staying calm in a fiery encounter is when Bob Ewell spits Atticus in the face."Mr Bob Ewell spat Atticus in his face, and told him he'd get him if it took the rest of his life……..'I wish - Bob Ewell didn't chew tobacco,' was all Atticus said about it." (pg 223)Atticus simply walks away, teaching his children a valuable lesson: never get carried away in the heat of the moment:"No matter what anybody says to you, don't let them get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change" (pg 82)He teaches them to respect everyone's opinions, even if they disagree with them. He teaches them how to understand why other people may have these different judgements. As Scout later recalls:"Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them." (pg 285)Atticus lives by his conscience, and wants to be honest and fair towards all aspects of life:"Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I've tried to live so I can look squarely back at him…." (pg 279)Atticus wanted to teach his children to be able to make their own non-biased opinions, without other's influencing their opinions:"So far nothing has interfered with your reasoning process," (pg 226)Atticus teaches his children to respect other people, no matter what their opinion is. A perfect example of this is Atticus' regard for Ms Dubose. She openly critisises and taunts him, but he remains considerate, polite and friendly towards her. He even says after her death, that she was the bravest person he ever knew:"According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew." (pg 118)But in essence, Atticus shows the real courage in the novel, because he advocates respect, patience and humility.Even though Atticus has great strength...

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