In this fine book, there are many pieces of evidence which cover the aspect of this question. One of the first of many begins on page 35. Scout has just finished eating her dinner, and Atticus Finch asks her whether she is ready to read. However, like many young children do, Scout explains to him that she is feeling under the weather and didn’t think she’d go to school any more… if it was ok with him.
Atticus was taught by his father but never went to school. The gentle father cleverly extracts what is wrong with her. After mentioning a dose of magnesia and school tomorrow, Scout tells him that she is actually feeling ok.
Scouts first day hadn’t gone too well, a scuffle with Walter Cunningham and a lecture from her form tutor telling her that Atticus is in the wrong by teaching her outside of the classroom.
“If you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view and until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” This was no lecture from Atticus, it was a way of telling Scout that in life there are a lot of misfortunes that can be worse than the first day at school. Atticus is a law abiding citizen, and he wants his children to follow like him.
Atticus Finch is exceptionally good at compromising. An example of this is in page 37 where he again comforts Scout by saying if she goes to school and gets an education then they will carry on reading together against her teachers word.
Atticus is completely anti racist. Although he dislikes the dirt of Maycomb County like the Ewell family, he accepts Negroes as an every day normal human being. During the period which the book is written around, black peoples were thought of as trash, but Atticus humiliated many white people by hiring Calpurnia to work in the house and look after Jem and Scout. Atticus has much respect from black communities by doing this, and after Tom Robinson’s court case; even thought he is found guilty; the Negro’s who attended the trial stood up as he left the shocked court room respecting him.
Atticus Finch has a great ability to cope with pressure. He does not care about other peoples views including his nephew Francis who calls him a “nigger Lover.” Mr Harry Johnson’s dog, Tim Johnson, had caught onto rabies. Atticus is a very astute father, after Calpurnia had rung him to tell him, he tells her to keep inside the children and ring local neighbours warning them not to venture out into the street. (p98-100) He does not enjoy grabbing the lime light and first off tells the sheriff Heck Tate, that he better shoot mad Tim Johnson. However, many would falter under pressure, and Heck was one that would. Heck has confidence in Atticus so much that he wants him to take the one shot and put the dog out of its misery. He succeeded in the task, the street came alive and Jem and Scout stood beleaguered that there father had that much personal fortitude. His children did not know that Atticus was the ‘deadest’ shot in Maycomb County until Miss Maudie informed them of this feat. Atticus had now gained much more respect, and even more respect off his own children.
An example of Atticus deserving our total admiration is on the night of Jems’ 12th birthday. Jem had kindly bought Scout a V.J. Elomore baton for 17 Cents, which she’d been eyeing up for a long time. Jem had followed Atticus’s advice on how to deal with Miss Dubose. He strode past her veranda side by side with Scout and answered her ridiculous questions of, “Why you not in school!?,” in a polite gentlemanly manner. However, Jem finally cracked, he could take no more moaning for reasons un-known. With Scouts new baton, he took to hacking away at Miss Dubose’s pride and possession, her Camelia bushes. He was livid, scarlet red and couldn’t care a hang for what the consequences would be.
The children, sulking around in the house, heard the scrape of Atticus’ sole on his shoes. With a voice like the winter wind, he calmly required Jem.
Asking him whether he was responsible, he admitted to it, and Atticus did not flip. Atticus told Jem that no matter how much his contemporaries get the better of him, this is no way to react to old Miss Dubose’s meaningless words. There was to be no comprises from Atticus, Jem was sent to see the victim and agreed to read two her for two hours after school and at each week end each day.
Having become appointed to defend Tom Robinson at his rape trial, Atticus became very wary about Tom’s whereabouts and for his safety. Maycomb was not known for gangs, mobs or even the fascist Ku Klux Klan. Mr Tom Robinson was a Negro so many white people would be after his scalp. Atticus had Tom moved into Maycomb Jail house. One evening he took an extension lead with a light bulb on the end of it into town with him one evening. Atticus was a cool and calculated character and in this instance it is pointed out. A bunch of anti-Negro’s had gathered outside the Jail house, where Tom Robinson was being held. The gang/bunch had a joint IQ of most likely below 90, so putting them in their place was not a hard job for Atticus Finch, the local attorney. Whilst the men became agitated at Atticus’s refusal to let them have Tom, Mr Finch refused to resort to violence in this matter. Atticus, having refused to believe Heck Tate that a group would try to stir up some bother over Tom’s occupancy of the jail house, took the precaution to look after his client and as ever, take care of his own and his family’s business.
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