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What is a symbol to represent Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (including direct...

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irynaroever | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted September 28, 2011 at 9:49 AM via web

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What is a symbol to represent Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird (including direct quotes from the book with chapter identification)?

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

Posted September 30, 2011 at 12:17 PM (Answer #1)

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The symbol that best identifies with Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird is his glasses. They represent both his strengths and weaknesses: We know that Atticus is practically blind in his left eye, left eyes

... being the tribal curse of the Finches.

Yet, he is able to overcome this physical weakness to become the best shot in the county as a boy. After a 30 year period, he still maintains this strength, cutting down the mad dog, Tim Johnson, with a shot between the eyes when called upon by Sheriff Tate. The glasses are unnecessary: When they keep slipping down as he takes aim, he throws them into the street. He is a better marksman--and a man--with one good eye than the sheriff. His glasses make him appear "feeble" to his children, but they also give him an appearance of intellectual superiority, one which he demonstrates throughout the book as the man Maycomb turns to when its citizens are in need. The glasses help Atticus to maintain his favorite hobby--reading--and he passes on the knowledge he attains daily to both of his children.

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