Scout Says That Atticus Has An Infinite Capacity

Scout says that Atticus has an “infinite capacity for calming turbulent seas.” What does she mean by this? Is this true?

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus Finch is the coolest, calmest character in the entire novel, To Kill a Mockingbird.  He is not only intelligent and logical in his dealings with people and events in the book, he is also humble and patient.  Atticus shows these traits throughout the novel and especially when he defends Tom Robinson against the lynch mob at the courthouse jail the night Tom is arrested for allegedly raping Mayella Ewell.  Instead of taking a weapon with him to threaten the mob when he sets up camp outside the jailhouse, Atticus uses his quiet, composed character to deter the lynch mob.  With the help of Scout, he is able to diffuse the intentions of the mob and keep Tom safe. 

Other events that show Atticus’ composure is during the trial and when Scout and Jem are attacked by Bob Ewell.  At the trial, Atticus cross examines Mayella Ewell respectfully without accusing her of lying.  He understands that it would be improper for him to openly accuse her of seducing Tom, but yet he is insistent on the truth without disgracing her.  Atticus’ closing arguments in defense of Tom show a rational and reasonable attempt to try to persuade the jury through their sense of justice.

 When Jem and Scout are attacked, Atticus is rattled, but he still keeps a calm demeanor.  After seeing that the kids are safe and that Boo Radley saved them, he logically tries to figure out how to save Boo from being arrested.  Luckily, Heck Tate, the sheriff, takes care of the situation by suggesting that Bob Ewell fell on his own knife.

The way he treats his children and others in the community shows his unwavering character.  He teaches them life lessons on how to weather storms and get along with people, and he guides them with ease and respect.  Ol’ “One Shot Finch” is even steady when he has to shoot the rabid dog that wanders into town.  Atticus is who you would want by your side in any situation because you could count on him being honorable, noble, and tolerant. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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