Analyze Atticus Finch's character. Focus upon his wisdom, delivered throughout the novel, and explain how this reflects his character strengths.
I also read this article called Atticus Finch and Southern Liberalism by Malcolm Gladwell from The New Yorker and I have to address whether I believe Finch has any character flaws or if he is hemmed in by time and place.
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Atticus Finch truly is a prime literary example of the nearly perfect Southern liberal thinker. He was certainly a man out-of-place in 1930s small-town Alabama: He didn't cuss, drink, or take part in the typical Southern male revelries. He was a single parent at a time when it was highly unusual for a man to bring up his children without a female in the household, and he spent his nights reading and bonding with Scout and Jem. His racial outlook is also rare for a white man of the era, and he risks his own life and that of his family when he takes on the Tom Robinson case. He is forthright and painfully honest; he answers his children's toughest questions in a true and factual manner. He shows his courage in an intellectual manner rather than with typical Southern bravado, and he tempers his emotions in a true, gentlemanly fashion. As an attorney, Atticus Finch transcends his fictional persona, leaving a character that real-life lawyers try to emulate to this day.
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