Throughout Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird, it seems as if Atticus Finch is a failure as both a parent and a lawyer. However, somebody with a good understanding of the novel will realise that Atticus is in fact a terrific lawyer and a superb father. However, like all people, Atticus has his flaws.
Throughout Scout and Jem’s childhoods, their father Atticus was always there for them. Atticus always made sure he made time to talk to his children and teach them valuable life skills. Atticus taught both his children to read before they began schooling. Although he was ridiculed for it by Scout’s teacher, Miss Caroline Fisher, who told Scout “Your father does not know how to teach (page 28)”, by teaching Scout to read he gave her an early advantage over all of her classmates and started her off in the best position possible to succeed in life.
Atticus Finch also taught his children many valuable life lessons and views of life throughout the course of the novel. Due to the things Atticus said, Jem and Scout developed many qualities such as empathy and equality. Very few of the adults in Maycomb at the time had these qualities and perhaps if they had these qualities Tom Robinson would not have been wrongly convicted. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view... Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.(Page 33)” This piece of advice by Atticus changed Scout’s entire perspective of life. She began to climb into other people’s skin, which made her understand the problems other people face in life. She learned not to judge people because of the way they act, the family they come from or their skin colour. Not many other fathers at the time or even now could influenc...
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... asking witnesses and the victim the same questions repeatedly which made them change their stories. Atticus also asked the witnesses very smart questions, which exposed many contradictions.
Everybody in the world has a different opinion of what makes a good parent. Some people believe that a strict approach works better and others believe in giving their children freedom to learn for themselves. Atticus took an almost perfect approach with his children. He gave his children freedom as well as teaching them valuable skills and qualities. As a lawyer, Atticus was near flawless as a lawyer despite losing the case. He used all his skills as a lawyer to make people believe that Tom Robinson could actually be innocent. Atticus Finch was without a question, a terrific man, father and lawyer.
Lee Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. New York: Warner Books, 1982.
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