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The fiftieth anniversary edition of Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird (New York: HarperLuxe, 2010) presents some of the following traits of Atticus Finch on the following pages:
- His diplomacy in dealing with his children (page 4).
- His acquisition of a law degree (page 5).
- His wisdom in counseling his clients (page 6).
- His support for Calpurnia in her disputes with the children (page 8).
- His tendency not to talk about the Radleys (page 16).
- His hard work and devotion to reading (page 27).
- His willingness to accept non-cash payments for his legal services when people could not pay cash (page 34).
- His knowledge of agriculture (page 38).
- His respect for Calpurnia’s intelligence (page 39).
- His pleasure in reading with Scout (page 47).
- His distaste for the Ewells, whom he considers disreputable citizens (49).
- His willingness to be firm in disciplining his children when he thinks they have done something wrong (65-66).
Preparing the rest of such a list should prove very easy. Simply move through the book, look for references to “Atticus,” see how he behaves, what he says, or what is said about him, and then generalize on the basis of that evidence, as in the examples above.
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