What are four adjectives that describe Atticus Finch?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator


In To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is a man who has integrity. He does the right thing even when no one is observing him. He is a patient man. He explains to Scout as to why he feels the need to represent Tom Robinson even though he realizes it will be difficult to win the trial. When Scout questions as to why her father is defending Tom knowing the community is so against it, he shares that he could not hold his head up in public if he did not try to defend Tom Robinson:

"For a number of reasons,” said Atticus. “The main one is, if I didn’t I couldn’t hold up my head in town, I couldn’t represent this county in the legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem to do something again.”

Atticus is responsible. He faces his challenge with determination. Also, Atticus is an insightful parent. He desires to teach his children that doing the right thing is necessary even in the face of a community filled with wrath caused by his decision to take on the trial.

Atticus is sincerely religious. His faith moves him forward in such a difficult trial. 

"This case, Tom Robinson's case, is something that goes to the essence of a man's conscience- Scout, I couldn't go to church and worship God if I didn't try to help that man."

No doubt, Atticus is a strong, courageous man who has outstanding morals and values. He is not as feeble as Scout describes him in chapter ten. He is mentally, spiritually, and physically tenacious. He desires to change Maycomb community for the better. 



teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is courageous, modest, wise, and perceptive.

Atticus shows his courage in mounting a real defense of Tom Robinson, a black man, despite the contention and danger it causes for his children and for him. He is willing to buck the unwritten racist code of the town to do the right thing. He knows defending Robinson will not be easy, but he does it anyway.

Atticus's children don't know what an expert sharp shooter he is until he has to kill a rabid dog. He is modest in that he doesn't flaunt his achievements and, in particular, doesn't feel a need to be a "macho" man. 

Atticus is wise in picking his battles, and he passes on that wisdom to his children. For example, he counsels Scout to get along with her teacher, who is new to the town, and not to make unnecessary waves in the classroom. Scout begins to learn the lesson of not always having to speak her mind. 

Atticus is perceptive, for instance, in understanding that Calpurnia is a good role model for his children, despite being black. He resists the racism around him and insists that his children show respect to her.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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