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Though not the protagonist or narrator of To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is a central character in the lives of both his children and the citizens of Maycomb, Alabama.

The first way Atticus is a hero is his role as a single father during the Great Depression. As his wife passed away when Scout was still an infant, Atticus takes on the responsibility of raising his children. Though Atticus has Calpurnia to cook meals and clean house, Atticus is an active parent despite his busy schedule as a lawyer. He is never too busy to listen to his children, and makes it a point to instill in them the same morality and belief in fairness that drives his work in the courtroom.

Atticus also shows heroic qualities in his job as a lawyer. By taking on the Tom Robinson case, Atticus puts himself between Tom, an African American accused of raping a white woman, and a town where a large number of residents would have Tom lynched. Though Atticus loses the case, and Tom Robinson is killed shortly after by the police, he is still heroic because he did the right thing when the odds were stacked against him.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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