Atticus - TKAM

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  • Atticus
    • Father
      • Atticus is a different type of father to the men of his time
        • he treats his children like adults and answers their question honestly
          • this represents how Atticus respects everyone no matter their age, race etc.
          • Atticus' goal when raising his children is to protect them against the prejudice in Maycomb
            • an example of this is when Jem destroys Mrs. Dubose's cammilias - Atticus treats this with a level head telling Jem to ...
              • 'You just hold your head high and be a gentleman'
                • this suggests even though Mrs. Dubose provoked Jem, Atticus understands that Mrs. Dubose is weak and ill and wants Jem to understand too
                • Atticus uses the phrase 'hold your head up high' often - usually when referring himself - this shows he wishes Jem to remain unbiased just like him
          • We can see Atticus treats the children as adults as both children refer to Atticus by his first and not 'father' as their friends might
    • Strength as a Lawyer
      • Atticus is an extremely strong man and lawyer having to face the prejudice of Maycomb society when he decides to defend a black man
        • Atticus is a symbol of law and justice in the book and is one of the only people to be untouched by prejudice
          • we can see this unprejudiced approach by the way he treats the Ewells in the court case
            • he respectful towards Mayella and Bob calling them sir and ma'am when on trial
            • he also shows us how he views the American justice system
              • 'The one place where a man ought to get a square deal is in a courtroom, be he any color of the rainbow, but people have a way of carrying their resentments right into a jury box'
                • the word 'rainbow' suggests Atticus' open mind as the rainbow is a big full spectrum
                  • rainbow also represent hope and happiness showing a world without prejudice would be just that
                • Atticus tells us even though it is the law that everyone should receive equal treatment in courts other peoples ideas may corrupt this law
                  • shows us no law or institution in perfect and human nature will always get in the way
    • unbiased or open-minded
      • Atticus doesn't care that Calpurnia, a black women, is 'raising' his children
        • shows he is a good father as knew a women was lacking from his children's lives so hired Calpurnia
          • We can see Atticus treats the children as adults as both children refer to Atticus by his first and not 'father' as their friends might
      • in everything Atticus does he takes an unbiased approach
        • this is because his approach to life is followed by famous philosophy from TKAM
          • 'you can't truly understand a person until you climb into their skin and walk around in it'
            • this explains why Atticus understands people so well
            • links to how he lets man of his clients pay for his services with goods like the Cunninghams
              • Atticus understands their situation as in the great depression they had no other means to pay for things
                • When Scout asks if they are poor - Atticus replies 'yes Scout - we are poor'
    • honest and open
      • in the majority of situations Atticus is an honest and well-respected man of the Maycomb community
      • he is different to the other people in Maycomb as doesn't conceal his true personality and is not afraid to be different
        • Mrs. Maudie says
          • 'the same man in his house as he is the on the public streets'
            • the words his and public show the different in two environments
              • the word 'his' shows it is where Atticus belongs so you would expect him to feel more comfortable and be different but he is still the same man
        • most people in Maycomb are hyprocritical and have double standards such as the women in the missionary society
    • treatment of the Ewells
      • begins by treating the Ewells respectfully
        • he respectful towards Mayella and Bob calling them sir and ma'am when on trial
        • however there is change in way Atticus treats Bob after he is threatened by Bob
          • Scout asks why Bob Ewell would say such things Atticus replies...
            • 'if a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash'
              • Atticus' definition of white trash is different to the rest of Maycomb, once again
                • Maycomb would define Bob Ewell as white trash because he comes from a poor background and has an awful family exactly what Atticus said doesn't matter
                • Atticus takes a much broader of viewer of things simply saying if a man is racist he is trash
                  • ironic as in Go Set a Watchmen Atticus becomes a racist
                  • Atticus' statement is hugely justified due to what Ewell does to Atticus' children at the end of the novel
    • Not entirely perfect
      • Atticus does have weak points about him too
        • he gets anger in his discussion with aunt Alexandra over Scout
        • he also misjudges Bob Ewell threat saying
          • 'what on earth could Ewell do to me, sister'
            • his faith in people can be exceeding as he never dreamed Ewell would go after his children


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