In the book To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch is a humble man. Can you give a few examples from the book which show him to be humble?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The best example in the novel comes in Chapter 10 when Atticus teaches his children a lesson in humility concerning his marksmanship skills. The children are shocked when Sheriff Tate "almost threw the rifle at Atticus" teling him that killing the mad dog "is a one-shot job." He has never told Jem and Scout about being the best marksman in the county as a youth because he is ashamed of his skill at killing, at having been "given an unfair advantage over most living things." He cautions Sheriff Tate not to tell the children about his past, but Miss Maudie reveals the truth. Jem wonders why Atticus has never bragged about his ability, but Maudie tells him that

     "People in their right minds never take pride in their talents... (Chapter 10)

Jem is quick to understand his father's reasoning, and he tells Scout to keep Atticus's secret because "Atticus is a gentleman, just like me."

After the trial of Tom Robinson, Atticus's "eyes filled with tears" after seeing the piles of food sent to him from Tom's poor but admiring friends. He tells Calpurnia to warn them that "they must never do it again. Times are too hard." At the end of the story, a befuddled Atticus seems to think that Jem, and not Boo Radley, has killed Bob Ewell. Atticus refuses to allow Sheriff Tate to cover up Jem's participation, telling him that "nobody's hushing this up. I don't live that way."

davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are numerous examples of Atticus's humility in To Kill a Mockingbird. He is, after all, a deeply humble man. One particularly good example comes in chapter 11 after the death of Mrs. Dubose. She was a waspish, mean old lady, a blatant racist with never a good word to say about anybody. And, whenever Scout and Jem used to walk past her house, she'd let rip with a volley of poisonous verbal abuse.

Yet when she was alive, Atticus always used to doff his hat to Mrs. Dubose and be exceedingly polite towards her. And after she passes away, Atticus describes her, much to Scout's astonishment, as "the bravest person he ever knew." Mrs. Dubose had been in considerable pain during her illness, and had become addicted to morphine as a result. Nevertheless, she was absolutely determined to beat her addiction before she died. Although she never managed to do this, her immense courage and resolve earned her the admiration and respect of Atticus.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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