Topic 5: Examine and analyze the character Atticus Finch.

Topic 5: Examine and analyze the character Atticus Finch.  What is his purpose in the novel—why does he exist?  How would the story be different without him?

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Atticus finch who is one of the main characters in the novel to kill a mocking bird his purpose is to free tom robinson from the corrupt court. there would be no court examination  if Atticus wasn't there as a character also if Atticus wasn't there it wouldn't show how scout was influenced by an adult and without Atticus tom would have been killed right away also Atticus was there to protect tom when the mob came to kill and linch him.

          Atticus plays an important role, because he takes care of his children Scout and Jem, he is a helpful person to the town (lawyer) and he is equal to everyone. Atticus lets his kids call him by his first name, which shows that Atticus is not above or below his children. As a matter of fact, Atticus cares for Scout and Jem, yet does not show much affection towards them. Also, Atticus is a lawyer and in this novel, he handles Tom Robinson's case. So without Atticus, Scout would not be influenced by an adult and there would not be evaluation in the court for Tom's case. Moreover, without Atticus, Tom Robinson would murdered by the mob since Atticus protected him. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee writes "As [Jem and Atticus] passed under a streetlight, Atticus reached out and massaged Jem's hair, his one gesture of affection" (Lee 155). This clearly tells one who is reading that Atticus cares about his child/children. It also shows the reader that Atticus doesn't usually show affection towards his kids, yet still cares about them. Above all, Atticus helps out Maycomb by being a lawyer, he also protects his children and is equivalent towards everyone. 

I agree of what you said, because Atticus cares for Scout and Jem lot more then anyone else. "Go home, Jem," he said (Atticus). "Take Scout and Dill home" ( Lee 152). He said that, because this is how much he care for them and also he protect them by telling Jem "Take Scout and Dill home." And also he care for them to let them go home that maybe one of the people would hurt them. But Jem is a smart and awesome person that did not take them home because he saved Atticus.

I don't believe Jem really saved Atticus from the mob. He does buy time in a way but the mob doesn't falter, change their ways, or leave just because Jem had decided to stay. If anything, they just about attack him to try and get him away from the scene. Scout, while witnessing the mob, states, "Then (Mr.Cunningham) did a peculiar thing. He squatted down and took me by both shoulders. 'I'll tell (Walter Cunningham) you said hey, little lady,' he said. Then he straightened up and waved a big paw. 'Let's clear out,' he called. 'Let's get going, boys'"(Lee 154) This shows that if anyone had a positive impact on the mob, it would be Scout. Mr.Cunningham decides to lead the mob away after Scout notices him and asks "How's your entailment gettin' along," (Lee 153).He begins to get uncomfortable over this but this doesn't stop Scout from continuing, moving on to talking about his son. The mob seems to realize that they wouldn't be willing to do whatever they planned for Tom Robinson in front of a little girl. Yes, Atticus plans to go against the mob and Jem buys some time for everyone, but Scout seems to be the true 'hero' of the situation, making the mob question their humanity and then disperse with no fatal harm done towards anyone. Even though everyone has a role in stopping this mob, Jem doesn't save Atticus as Scout has a more important role in the moment.

      If the story goes on without Atticus, the lawyer, the story will messed up, and no one will find the theme of equality. Atticus treats Boo Radley with respect because he sees him as a person. He tries to find the truth with the court case. He also gives advice to those who need guidance no matter who asks. "... I might ask you things you've already said before, but you'll give me an answer, won't you?..." (Lee 181). Atticus, judge and other lawyers are keep asking questions to Mayella, so that they can found out what happened. Without Atticus, the problem that happened won't be solved, and no would get it as Atticus would. Without Atticus the lawyer, the starting of a book will be a bad story, and all the problems in there with no solution.

I feel you aren't looking at the story as a whole. Atticus hadn't really solved any problems in the book. You need to account to all the underlying problems in the book such as poverty shown through the Cunnighams as well as child abuse shown through Mayella Ewell and Arthur "Boo" Radley. With obvious problems that Atticus was involved with, he did not completely resolve them either; Tom Robinson is still seen as guilty as well as killed and no one sees the black community any differently such as going against the segregation and cruelty against them. Scout, listening to Tom Robinson's trial, states, "I shut my eyes. Judge Taylor was polling the jury: 'Guilty... guilty... guilty... guilty...'" (Lee 211). Even though Atticus gave Tom Robinson a fair case, it isn't enough to set the people out of their ways and see past his color to really take in the evidence that clearly proves his innocence. Now, thinking about this, Atticus hadn't really solved anything and no problems had clear solutions. Yes, Tom Robinson was able to actually be proven innocent but the end result was still the same if he hadn't gotten the fair trial. Atticus was able to shed light on some clear problems such as racial injustice but that does not mean he solved them. There are many problems perceived in this book that aren't solved even with Atticus' help. Although Atticus plays a big role in expanding the mindset of the people, he really didn't solve any of the problems in Maycomb.

     I agree with Me 9A, because the problems portrayed in this book have been there for so long, that Atticus couldn't have possibly solved them all with the short time that he had. End even though Atticus wasn't able to resolve them all, "[Maycomb is] making a step -- it's just a baby-step, but it's a step" all due to Atticus(Lee 289). Atticus was able to unveil all the racism, poverty, and violence that's been happening in Maycomb to the public. Without Atticus would the town is still have progressed in the same way? Will they have been exposed to the true nature of Maycomb? 


What I meant is, without Atticus, everything will be messed up. Atticus is actually doing his job as a lawyer, going step by step to be able to solve the prblems. Also, Atticus is a good lawyer, no one would figure them out as Atticus would. And that's true that Atticus did not solve any problems, but he is going step by step which he is getting there.

I would also like to add that Atticus doesn't only care about himself but cares about others and is fair to them. Atticus helped Tom Robinson from the mob killing him. In addition, he is kind to Boo, because he knows that he doesn't mean any harm to anyone in any way shape or form. Atticus Finch also likes to help others by having a lawyer as his job and handling other people's cases. In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, the strangers/men said, "He in there, Mr. Finch?"  "He is," we heard Atticus answer, "and he's asleep. Don't wake him up" (Lee 151). This clearly tells the reader that he is protecting others (in this case Tom) and shows that he cares about him. This also tells the reader that if Atticus wasn't there to guard him, Tom would have been killed by the mob immediately. After all, Atticus is there to protect people, care for them and be fair towards everybody.

I agree with you on the fact that he hasn't solved any problems, but he tried to solve them. In the case of Tom Robinson, he tried to get the jury to see the clear evidence of Tom's innocence, but they couldn't overlook the fact that he was black. It isn't really Atticus' fault that most of the issues he's been a part are unsolvable for the most part. Atticus' pleading with the jury helped them find a small voice of reason, but they eventually succumbed to the racism within them. This is shown when Judge Taylor reads the jury poll,"Guilty... guilty... guilty... guilty..." (Lee 211). Atticus, while doing his best trying to solve the problem, fails in doing so, but he also showed the jury that there was something wrong. They may or may not have been close to deciding that Tom should be innocent or not, but no amount of pleading with racists could fix the problems of injustice. That is how Atticus attempts to solve issues he is in.

The main purpose of the character Atticus Finch is to progress the mindset of his town as well as guide his own kids into a different lifestyle than the rest of the community, much like him. The ways he goes about doing this would be taking up the Tom Robinson case as a serious matter and not looking at it with skin color involved, teaching his kids to do what is right even if it goes against him, and also making sure to give lifelong lessons to mature the kids and have them see everyone as a whole. Atticus, a lawyer and father of Jem and Scout, asserts himself for the third time in front of a mob saying, "'Son, I said go home.' Jem shook his head. 'I'll send him home,' a burly man said, and grabbed Jem roughly by the collar. He yanked Jem nearly off his feet. ' Don't you touch him!' I kicked the man swiftly. Barefooted, I was surprised to see him fall back in real pain. I intended to kick his shin, but aimed too high," (Lee 152). The kids show extreme courage here against the mob because they know it's the better decision to stick with Atticus and help him. Not only do they feel the urge to stick around because he's their dad, they act before they're able to feel afraid because there should never be second guesses to doing whats justly. In addition to confidently do what they believe is right, Atticus shows a sign of affection towards Jem afterwards when Scout believed he was getting lectured on not going home when told. This shows that although Jem defied his father, Atticus, he did not scold him for it because he's acting for an appropriate incident that is a higher priority.To further illuminate how Atticus is progressing the local mindset, Miss Maudie, the Finches neighbor, states to Jem, "'You think about that,' Miss Maudie was saying... 'Atticus Finch won't win, he can't win, but he's the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long in a case like that. And I thought to myself, well, we're making a step--it's just a baby-step, but it's a step,'" (Lee 216). The way Atticus presented Tom Robinson's case had the jury deciding for almost 4 hours when it usually takes a couple minutes in a black mans case. This is the first step towards the racial justice needed in Maycomb. Although Atticus loses the court battle, the black community was able to voice their opinions though him. Without Atticus in the book "To Kill a Mockingbird", the children would begin to set ways like the rest of Maycomb which is what Atticus was trying to avoid: Jem and Scout would have a racist and unfair outlook on black people. On top of this, Tom Robinson would have never had the fair trial Atticus was able to give him, changing the perspective on not only Robinson but Bob and Mayella Ewell as well. Speaking of Bob Ewell, he would never end up with a knife lodged under his ribcage and could be alive and well because there would be no reason to go after Jem and Scout the night of Halloween. Atticus plays a huge role in this book and altering his role or taking him out of this universe would negatively effect the books outcome. All in all, Atticus is set to bring reason and morality to the people of Maycomb which is rare.

I strongly agree with your pinion on having Atticus in the story. I believe that Atticus Finch is one of the most steadfastly honest and moral characters in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee-a famous author- and his character remains, for the most part, unchanged throughout To Kill a Mockingbird. As a lawyer  he represents everything that someone working in the justice system should. He is fair, does not hold grudges, and looks at every situation from a multitude of angles. As Miss Maude says, “Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets" (Lee 87) she also indicates that this could also be said of how he behaves in the courtroom. He is a skilled lawyer and without making outright accusations in a harsh tone he effectively points out that Bob Ewell is lying. As a parent Atticus is very careful to offer his children careful guidance. Instead of trying to force principles of politeness on them, he is careful to provide his instruction in a way that makes the children think about their actions. For example, he offers them complex lessons in life and tells them, “shoot all the blue jays that you want, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird" (Lee103). This lesson is not to tell them that shooting things is good, but rather that there are some things that have a purpose on the earth. Atticus has a simple set of beliefs and values. For the most part, what he believes can be shortened to his simple phrase, “I do my best to love everybody" (Lee112). Unlike those in the community who are quite racist and obsessed with class and social position, Atticus tries to look at everyone as an individual--even those who are outcast by their society (including Boo and the blacks and poor of the community). He sees the good in everyone and is committed to making his children feel the same way he does. In every sense of the word he is a kind and just man.   



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