In her novel To Kill a Mockingbird how does Harper Lee create Atticus Finch as a character who is respectful of his neighbors' differing beliefs, while defending his own against them? 

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Early in the novel, Atticus offers this bit of advice to his daughter, Scout, who has been in conflict on the playground at school, and he mentions this advice several times throughout the book, telling her, "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."  Atticus is an interesting character, because he is a man of true north principles, which he endeavors to live his life by in every possible way--and yet he is also terribly tolerant of others, and rarely passes judgement on anyone.  Even when it is time for him to defend Tom Robinson, and it becomes apparent that Scout and Jem will be the targets of some nasty remarks, Atticus reminds him that while he is going to do what he has to do, saying 'The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience," he also insists that the children follow his example by turning the other cheek and trying to remember that the people of Maycomb "are still our friends".   

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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