In To Kill A Mockingbird, which character comes off as more heroic to the narrator, Scout: Atticus Finch or Aunt Alexandra?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Time and time again, Scout finds her father, Atticus Finch, heroic. This is not true of Aunt Alexandra. 

Here are some incidents in which Atticus seems heroic to Scout:

  • In Chapter 9 Scout overhears her father talking with his brother Jack. He says that, although he has hoped to not have such a case as Tom Robinson's, he cannot in good conscience, refuse to take it. "But do you think I could face my children otherwise?"
  • In Chapter 10 when Tim Johnson becomes rabid, the sheriff bows to Atticus's ability to shoot a rifle, and Atticus fires accurately from a distance and kills the diseased dog which is a danger to the neighborhood. Unbeknownst to the children, Atticus was once the finest marksman in the county--known as "One-Shot Finch." 
  • In Chapter 14 Atticus heroically defends Calpurnia as a "faithful member of this family" when Aunt Alexandria wants him to dismiss her.
  • In Chapter 15 Atticus bravely stands up to the mob outside the jail where Tom Robinson is kept before the trial.
  • Atticus bravely defends Tom Robinson at the trial, despite the hateful comments being made about him. In his closing arguments, in Chapter 20, he stalwartly addresses the jurors, 

"I am confident that you gentlemen will review without passion the evidence...and restore this defendant to his family. In the name of God, do your duty."


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To Kill a Mockingbird

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