How does Harper Lee present Atticus as a role model to his children and the Maycomb society in To Kill a Mockingbird?
This is to help me think about what to write in an essay. Some key things I plan to write about are his courage, parenting and courtesy. Anything else would be much appreciated and if possible examples, quotes and references would be great appreciated.
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In Atticus Finch, author Harper Lee has created the nearly perfect liberal Southern gentleman. His faults are few, and he is role model not only for his children, but also for the townspeople of Maycomb. Most of the citizens recognize this: Atticus is elected each term without opposition as Maycomb's representative to the Alabama legislature. He is the attorney the people turn to when they are in need of legal aid, and Atticus accepts compensation in any manner whenever his clients can afford to pay. Atticus is color-blind when it comes to the races, and he treats people that he meets on the streets just as he would in his home. He teaches his children to behave in the same manner, scolding Scout when she uses the "N" word. Even though he was educated at home, Atticus insists that his children go to school, where he hopes they will exceed his own abilities. He teaches the children about tolerance--how to "climb into his skin and walk around in it" before judging people--and about how real courage is not "a man with a gun in his hand." Ashamed of his own ability as a marksman and uneasy with his children's desire to use a gun, Atticus refuses to divulge his secret about once being known as "One-Shot" Finch. After Miss Maudie explains to Jem about humility, Jem recognizes it as a trait that he, too, wants to emulate. Despite his busy schedule, Atticus always finds time to read to Scout each evening. He shows necessary restraint when he refuses to fight Bob Ewell after being spit upon, and he never fails to act as a gentleman, even when it comes to addressing the cranky Mrs. Dubose or the ignorant Mayella Ewell. Perhaps Miss Maudie explains Atticus's importance to Maycomb best when she tells Jem that
"... there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father's one of them... We're so rarely called on to be Christians, but when we are, we've got men like Atticus to go for us."
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