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Harper Lee sets up Atticus from the very beginning as a role model. He is given a great intellect, good looks, a steady character, and a central role in the trial that will demonstrate time and again his deeply held beliefs in honesty, in doing the right thing, and his faith in other human beings to do what is right when the chance presents itself.
Yet he is not naive, he often knows when to expect people to do the wrong thing but he instructs his children to also believe in the good in people and to respect them regardless of their faults or their mistakes.
He acts throughout the story as one with unimpeachable morals and a willingness to stand up for what is right regardless of the situation.
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