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"To Kill A Mockingbird": How Does Harper Lee Use The Character Of Atticus Finch To Persuade Us Of Her Point Of View About Prejudice And Injustice?

995 words - 4 pages

Atticus Finch is one of the major characters in the novel who is held in high regard in the community of Maycomb. Atticus, as the father of Scout and Jem, is the role model and pillar of support for them as they develop through life. Harper Lee has deliberately created Atticus and given him certain characteristics to voice her own views and opinions on issues of prejudice and injustice. Atticus is a man with high morals and respects all people around him, regardless of what they think of him. He is the key character in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird that Harper Lee uses to present her own views and beliefs.As the father of Jem and Scout, Atticus is a very understanding man. He attempts to teach Jem and Scout as they progress through life and through different events, and is the pillar of support for both children. Atticus is a very wise person, who respects all people around him regardless of what they think of him. He understands that people have their own views and opinions, and while they may be different from his or what he thinks is right, they still deserve to be respected and treated equally. He understands the value of empathy, and how it can be used to understand a person and how the person acts. This can be seen when he attempts to teach Scout about this value, "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." p33. Atticus, as a father, teaches Jem and Scout about moral values, and to respect other people no matter the circumstances. Atticus can be continually seen throughout the book attempting to divert Scout from her violent ways, and to never react to another person's actions or words. He displays this quality later in the book when Bob Ewell spits on Atticus' face, yet he calmly walks away from him. These qualities about Atticus develop the reader into feeling respect and admiration for Atticus himself, and tends to focus the reader more upon the words and messages that he conveys throughout the book.By enhancing the reader's feelings towards Atticus, Harper Lee uses this to her advantage by presenting messages and her own views through the character. As the issues of racism, prejudice and injustice would have been affecting Harper Lee's personal context, she would have had strong opinions on these issues. Atticus Finch displays extraordinary strength of character throughout the book, and his acts of justice, anti-prejudice and equality send through messages to the reader of these themes. Harper Lee uses Atticus to show how she feels people in a society should be like, and uses him to display ideal characteristics and personality. "I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. Its when you know...

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