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During a time when black people were thought to be lower than white people, Atticus defended a black man in court. He said to his children, "I'm simply defending a Negrohis name's Tom Robinson," (pg. 75). It required a lot of confidence and caring for Atticus to defend Tom, and the black community knew that Tom did not stand a chance without Atticus' help. They respected him and looked to him as a hero. They showed this when they stood up for him in the courtroom. Reverend Sykes said to Scout in the courtroom, "Miss Jean Louise, stand up. Your father's passin," (pg. 211). The entire group of black people who were there stood up for him. Also, the parishioners at Calpurnia's church made Jem and Scout feel welcome when they visited their church. This showed that the black people also respected Atticus' family. If Atticus were just trying his best in a difficult circumstance, then he would not be as respected as he was by the black community. The black people greatly acknowledged the qualities that Atticus displayed by defending Tom and looked to him as a hero because of these qualities.
Throughout the novel, Atticus proved his numerous abilities and intelligences. He had achieved the nickname of "One-Shot Finch" because he was always the deadest shot in Maycomb. He saved the town from a rabid dog by shooting it with one shot. Jem and Scout were amazed when their neighbour, Miss Maudie, told them, "The very idea, didn't you know his nickname was Ol' One Shot when he was a boy," (pg. 98). His children thought Atticus could not do anything, until Miss Maudie explained to them that he was also the best checker player in Maycomb and that he knew how to play a Jew's harp. Atticus also explained many things and taught many lessons to his children as they traveled the journey of growing up.
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Atticus' strongest quality was his quality of caring. Almost every person in Maycomb knew of it, even if they did not admit it. For instance, despite her ugly face and hateful attitude, Atticus treated Mrs. Dubose like any ordinary person. He would even tell her, "Good evening, Mrs. Dubose! You look like a picture this evening," (pg. 100). Mrs. Dubose had an ugly attitude toward the Finch family, but Atticus would simply ignore it and treat her kindly. Also, even though Calpurnia was a caregiver to the Finches, Atticus treated her like part of the family. Even when Aunt Alexandra wanted her to leave, Atticus said, "Alexandra, Calpurnia's not leaving this house until she wants to. She's a faithful member of this family and you'll simply have to accept things the way they are," (pg. 137). Finally, Atticus wanted his children to understand that Arthur Radley was a human being and that they should stop tormenting him. He said to them, "I'm going to tell you something and tell you one time: stop tormenting that man," (pg. 49). Atticus respected Arthur despite the fact that he stayed inside his house all the time. Despite all of the stories that were going around town about Arthur, Atticus wished that everybody would just leave the man alone. Atticus cared for everyone, from the sick, to the coloured, to the unseen. With everything that Atticus had to take care of, he was made a true hero by caring for everybody, even when he did not have to.
It is evident that Atticus is a heroic character in To Kill A Mockingbird. He cared for and defended a black man in court, he achieved nicknames for his talents, and he loved and treated everybody equally. His children were very proud of him. If Atticus Finch was simply a good man trying his best in difficult situations, then he would not have put his reputation on the line to try and save a black man's life, he would not have taught numerous lessons to his children, and he would not have displayed his caring to almost every person he met. He was known for his many achievements and qualities. Therefore, Atticus Finch was a heroic character in this novel, not just a good man doing his best in difficult situations.