Characters in TKAM

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Atticus Finch:

  • he is maycomb's lawyer and conscience
  • atticus teaches his children important lessons such as understanding other peoples viewpoints (chapter 3)
  • atticus soots a mad dog to protect the community (chapter 10)
  • Atticus sits outside the maycomb jail to protect tom robinson from a lynch mob (chapter 15)
  • he defends tom robinson (chapters 17-21)
  • atticus agrees to keep quiet about the details of the incident with bob ewell (chapter 30)
  • 'we were... free to inturrupt atticus for a translation' - atticus uses formal dialect but is patient and happy to explain things. he believes in being honest, respectful and straightforward with his children
  • 'atticus finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets' - atticus is always consistent and courteous. this is usually a good thing but his ideals and principles can put him and his family at risk in society.
  • 'he sat in the living room and read'- he is a studious lawyer, not young and active. he does not conform to society's view of what it is to be a Sotuerhn gentlemand and is something of a loner
  • 'he's the only man in these parts who can keep a jury out so long' - a persuasive lawyer. he is determined that tom gets a fair trial. racial prejudice means he can't win, but this is evidence of how he is trying to change things
  • harper lee's spokesman
  • emodies the themes of justice, tolerance, goodness and courage 
  • despite his strong principles and idealism, he is trapped within the prejudice society he lives in 
  • stands out as a man of reason and courage
  • he tries to make his own children to see that it is better to use one's head than resort to fists, or even worse, to guns
  • he is driven by a strong belief in the equality of people before the law and although he doesn't gain a just verdict, it does not diminish his faith in law
  • 'before i can live with other folks i've got to live with myself. the one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience' - atticus (chapter 11) 
  • people who matter in maycomb hold atticus in high regard
  • he is subjected to critism by his brother and sister for the way he raises his kids
  • he demands high standards of courtesy, honesty and good manners from jem and scout
  • despite his virtues, atticus is not unapproachable
  • his faith in the goodness of man leads him to underestimate bob ewell, with almost fatal consequences
  • forward - thinking

Jean Louise 'Scout' Finch

  • narrator of the novel
  • scout starts school for the first time (chapter 2)
  • scout discovers gifts hidden in a tree near the Radley place (chapter 4)
  • scout finds her father outside maycomb jail and helps bring to and end a dangerous situation (chapter 15)
  • scout is present at the trail of tom (chapters 17 - 21)
  • she attends a missionary meeting (chapter 24)
  • scout performs in the halloween pageant and is attacked

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