How would one analyze any of the following about Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: his homelife, religion, place in community, political ambitions, hobbies, moral standards,...

How would one analyze any of the following about Atticus Finch in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird: his homelife, religion, place in community, political ambitions, hobbies, moral standards, personal ambitions, frustrations, temperament, attitude toward life, complexes, and whether or not he is an extrovert or introvert?

 

 

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee depicts Atticus Finch's homelife as very characteristic of a widowed father.

The children complain that he is rarely home, and when he is home, they see him as being far too old to be able to do things with them. For example, Atticus is able to play keep-away with Jem, but when Jem asks Atticus to play tackle football, Atticus's response is, "I'm too old for that, son" (Ch. 10). The children describe their father as "feeble" and when asked why he is so old, his response is that he "got started late" in life (Ch. 10). However, regardless of these weaknesses, Atticus is able to spend a lot of quiet time with his children when he is home. The favorite household activity is to read together. For example, Scout describes that she was never taught how to read but, at some point, she was just able to read partially in consequence of curling up in Atticus's lap every night and looking over whatever he happened to be reading. In addition, many times Harper Lee describes the family together at night in the living room with Atticus, Scout, and Jem reading while Aunt Alexandra works on her sewing.

Atticus's homelife is also described as generally peaceful. For example, when Atticus and Aunt Alexandra begin quarreling at home because she doesn't like the idea of Atticus defending Tom Robinson, Scout observes, "Jem and I fussed a great deal these days, but I had never heard of or seen anyone quarrel with Atticus" (Ch. 14). Also, while Jem and Scout have their problems and give their father their fare share of problems, Atticus has in general raised them to be very close and considerate children.

All in all, Harper Lee uses Atticus's homelife to depict Atticus as a thoughtful, peace-loving, and virtuous widowed father.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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