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In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch is a humble man. Can you...

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tokillamockin... | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:05 PM via web

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In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch is a humble man. Can you give a few examples from the book which show him to be humble?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 11, 2012 at 5:47 PM (Answer #1)

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The best example in the novel comes in Chapter 10 when Atticus teaches his children a lesson in humility concerning his marksmanship skills. The children are shocked when Sheriff Tate "almost threw the rifle at Atticus" teling him that killing the mad dog "is a one-shot job." He has never told Jem and Scout about being the best marksman in the county as a youth because he is ashamed of his skill at killing, at having been "given an unfair advantage over most living things." He cautions Sheriff Tate not to tell the children about his past, but Miss Maudie reveals the truth. Jem wonders why Atticus has never bragged about his ability, but Maudie tells him that

     "People in their right minds never take pride in their talents... (Chapter 10)

Jem is quick to understand his father's reasoning, and he tells Scout to keep Atticus's secret because "Atticus is a gentleman, just like me."

After the trial of Tom Robinson, Atticus's "eyes filled with tears" after seeing the piles of food sent to him from Tom's poor but admiring friends. He tells Calpurnia to warn them that "they must never do it again. Times are too hard." At the end of the story, a befuddled Atticus seems to think that Jem, and not Boo Radley, has killed Bob Ewell. Atticus refuses to allow Sheriff Tate to cover up Jem's participation, telling him that "nobody's hushing this up. I don't live that way."

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