Although critized openly, Atticus is respected throughout the town of Maycomb. Why is this true?

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cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is willing to stand alone in order to what he believes is right.  Other citizens of Maycomb and the area surrounding the town are not willing to be ostracized for their convictions.  Atticus has the courage to do what others are too afraid to do.  As is often the case, it is reasonable to assume that there are many others who would like to be brave enough to be willing to accept the consequences of going against the norm but cannot find the courage to.  Atticus is not only brave, but he is unwavering in his commitment to his morals; as Miss Maudie says, Atticus is the same at home as he is on the street.  The seemingly simple act of being the person he knows he should be, and being unapologetic for it, makes Atticus admirable.

Susan Woodward eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird is known throughout Maycomb as a fair and just man.  He helped the Cunningham family with an entailment, a case over inherited land issues, even though the Cunninghams had no money to pay him.  Walter Cunningham, Sr. paid Atticus in hickory nuts and crops from his farm in exchange for Atticus' services.  When Tom Robinson was accused of raping Mayella Ewell, Atticus was criticized for taking a case he knew he could not win; however, Atticus believed that Tom Robinson deserved the best defense he could give him.  His fairness, honesty, and non-judgemental attitudes earned Atticus Finch the respect of (most of) his community. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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