What actions of Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird truly define him as a hero, besides the court case?

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

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The night that Atticus stands up against the lynch mob at the jail shows true courage: how the nearsighted attorney is willing to put his life on the line to defend his client. He faces the mad dog in the street after Sheriff Tate is unwilling to take the crucial shot, and Atticus responds with a bullet between Tim Johnson's eyes, protecting his neighbors from the potentially deadly animal. The fact that Atticus is willing to raise his children as a single father during a time when such an action is rare is another example of a certain type of courage different from a "man with a gun in his hand." He stands up to his strong-willed sister to defend Calpurnia's place in the household, putting his foot down when Alexandra demands that Calpurnia be fired. He displays an even temperament when Bob Ewell tries to coax him into a fight, refusing to retaliate after being spat in the face; and at the end of the novel, he is willing to allow Jem to face the charge of murder when he mistakenly believes his son killed Bob.


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