What is a physical description of Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird?I need two quotes and page numbers.

Expert Answers
mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Oddly enough, little is revealed about the physical appearance of Atticus Finch. Perhaps Harper Lee has done this purposely so that the reader will focus on this man's character.

In some chapters, however, there are a few brief descriptions. For instance, in chapter 10, Scout states that Atticus is "feeble" because he is nearly fifty years old. He is much older than the parents of his children's classmates, and Atticus does not want to participate in such things as football. "I'm too old for that, son," he says when Jem wants Atticus to tackle him. Because he is nearly blind in his left eye, Atticus also wears glasses. Nevertheless, he is an accurate marksman.

It is in chapter 15 that a more detailed description of Atticus's face is provided. When the children show up at the mob scene, Atticus tells Jem to go home, but Jem does not budge. As they face each other, Scout narrates that she can see no resemblance between him and her father other than their resolute natures. 

Jem's soft brown hair and eyes, his oval face and snug-fitting ears were our mother's, contrasting oddly with Atticus's graying black hair and square-cut features (Ch.15).

Atticus is tall because when he and Sheriff Tate arrive, Scout states that Mr. Heck Tate "was as tall as Atticus, but thinner." Scout goes on to say that Sheriff Tate has a long nose, implying that Atticus's nose is much shorter.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although he is the most important character in To Kill a Mockingbird (aside from the narrator, Scout), Atticus is never described in great detail. As the previous post mentioned, Atticus is rather tall (probably over six feet), has black hair that is turning grey, and wears glasses because of an inherited family eye problem.

He was nearly blind in his left eye, and said left eyes were the tribal curse of the Finch family. Whenever he wanted to see something well, he turned his head and looked from his right eye.

Despite his age, which was older than most of Scout's fellow students' fathers, Atticus must have been in relatively good shape, since he rarely drove his car, preferring to walk each day to his office. During the trial, Scout tells the reader that Atticus never perspired, but now his face "was shining tan." Normally, Atticus never "loosened a scrap of his clothing until he undressed at bedtime." But just prior to his final summation,

... he unbuttoned his vest, unbuttoned his collar, loosened his tie, and took off his coat... this was the equivalent of him standing before us stark naked.


thutabarbu | Student

He is old and hair is turning grey as he ages. He is tall and wears spectacles.

ahbhs2014 | Student

Atticus is characterized as a older male, with a darker hair color that is turning gray as he ages. He wears glasses, as mentioned previously in answers to this question. He is also rather taller as though of in the reading.

mmatuny | Student

Atticus is in his 50's, wears glasses, is tall with gray and black hair and a square face.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question