How would you describe Atticus Finch in chapter one of "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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mrs-campbell's profile pic

mrs-campbell | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In chapter one, we are first introduced to Atticus, and given a little bit of background information on him.  From the information given, I would say that Atticus is smart, kind, loyal, a good brother,  and intuitive about human nature.

We know Atticus is smart, because Scout tells us how he went to law school and was a pretty successful lawyer in the town.  One has to be smart to be a lawyer, and well-read.  Plus, he is always reading books.  We can tell that Atticus is kind, because he put a lot of money into his brother's education as a doctor; that is a super nice thing to do.  He also tells the kids to be nice to the Radleys, and tries to downplay their intense curiosity about Boo.  He's a good brother to "Uncle Jack" because of his support of his education.  The last thing I noticed was that Atticus can read people pretty well--he's intuitive.  The kids ask him if Mr. Radley keeps Boo chained in the basement, and that's why no one sees him, and Atticus says,

"no, it wasn't that sort of thing, that there were other ways of making people into ghosts."

He understands that you do not need physical chains to drain the life out of someone, and he knew that Mr. Radley was exactly the type to drain someone through other means.  Throughout the book, you will see how Atticus's ability to read people and understand them is quite a talent.  I hope that those thoughts helped; good luck!

zumba96's profile pic

zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

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He is caring and responsible. He is a very highly respected lawyer and he does not hold any prejudices against anyone regardless of their skin. He understands people as people without looking at their color and later goes on to hold the account of Tom Robinson and tries to show who the real villain is. 

marygronan's profile pic

marygronan | College Teacher | (Level 1) Honors

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From what we read in chapter one I would describe Atticus Finch as caring and responsible father to his children as well as being a good brother to his own brother and sister. He comes from solid stock who worked the land for generations unbroken until he became a lawyer and his brother became a doctor. Atticus returned to his roots in Maycombe where he is related to almost every family in the town.He is highly respected by everyone in the area as a professional  lawyer and as a citizen. He understands people and their problems no matter who they are.

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