What do other characters say or think about Atticus Finch? -"To Kill a Mockingbird"

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The characters in To Kill a Mockingbird  have various opinions about Atticus. Let me give a sample. 

First, if you ask his children, at the beginning of the book, they would say that there was nothing special about Atticus. In fact, they would probably point out his faults. He is old, nearly blind in one eye, not very athletic, and too bookish. Here is Scout's depiction of him:

Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty. When Jem and I asked him why he was so old, he said he got started late, which we felt reflected upon his abilities and manliness. He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries, and there was nothing Jem or I could say about him when our classmates said, “My father—”

During the trial of Tom Robinson, the black community looked at Atticus with respect. In one of my favorite parts in the book, the black community rises when Atticus passes by as a sign of respect.

I looked around. They were standing. All around us and in the balcony on the opposite wall, the Negroes were getting to their feet. Reverend Sykes’s voice was as distant as Judge Taylor’s: “Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father’s passin‘.”

Another valuable perspective comes from Miss Maudie. She views Atticus as a very special man, someone who has the courage to do what other neglect to do. Here is what Maudie says to Jem:

“I simply want to tell you that there are some men in this world who were born to do our unpleasant jobs for us. Your father’s one of them.”

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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