How is Atticus an intelligent, fair and helpful person?I need to know how Atticus is an intelligent,fair and helpful person.

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wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is an extremely intelligent man.  He is the town lawyer which shows he has had far more education than much of the town.  He teaches his children to read and to love learning.  He also discovers the truth of what happened between Tom Robinson and Mayella Ewell.  He is able to prove it in court, although the townspeople decide to ignore this proof.  I think we see that Atticus is fair and kind in the way he treats others.  He defends Tom even though the entire town is against it.  He helps the townspeople by working for food or trade rather than money.  He also helps Boo Radley and Walter Cunningham.  We see his kindness to others again and again in the novel.

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus tries to teach his children by leading by example. He tries to love all men--black and white (though he draws the line with Bob Ewell)--and he teaches his children about the importance of tolerance toward others. He serves his community as a legislator and takes on the Tom Robinson case because he knows Tom is innocent, realizing that it will bring him enemies and danger to his family. He accepts trade for his legal services when his clients cannot afford to pay him, and he stresses the importance of education and makes sure that his children have a happy home in which to live.

lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is extremely intelligent. He reads constantly. He reads to his children. He proves his intelligence while defending Tom Robinson. He points out that the person who assaulted Mayella had to be left handed. Tom Robinson's left arm was crippled. He could not have assaulted Mayella. 

Atticus is also a fair man. He represents Walter Cunningham for payment in firewood and hickory nuts. He is open minded. He shows no prejudices. Atticus has a black housekeeper who is as part of his family. Atticus is a good man and a great father. 

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Regarding fairness, we learn that Atticus was once the best shot on Maycomb but he stopped using a gun as an adult. The reason given for this change is provided by Miss Maudie after Atticus has to shoot a rabid dog. 

She tells Jem and Scout that Atticus must have decided that he his skill with a gun gave him an unfair advantage over other creatures. The idea behind her statement is directly aimed at a great and generous sense of fairness in Atticus. 

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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