Atticus Finch – Literary Hero

In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, one of the main characters, Atticus Finch, is a hero because he is a good father to his children, is willing to defend an innocent black man wrongly accused by a white woman, and he represents many honourable qualities: honesty, common sense, and, independence.

What is a hero? A hero, defined by small children, is a person who saves people from villains. A hero, defined by the Oxford dictionary, is “a person who is admired for their courage, outstanding achievements, or noble qualities”. These are all definitions we can relate to and agree with, yet once reading this novel we are exposed to another definition of a hero: “a hero is someone who cares for their children”, to put it simple. When we first meet the Finch family it takes some time for the reader to get used to the way that Jem, Atticus’ son and Scout, his daughter speak to their father. For example, when Scout begs her father not to send her to school the next day after her first day didn’t go as well as she had expected and she says, “please don’t send me back, please sir.” This may seem a little over exaggerated but throughout the novel the children generally call their father by his name or “sir”, but never daddy or dad. This may be interpreted in a bad way, as if they didn’t trust each other, but actually it shows that they have respect for their father, a certain value, which Atticus feels is very necessary for his children to have, especially towards other people, white or black. Yet the most important thing that Atticus wants his children to know, which also plays a significant role in the novels storyline is, that “you never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view–… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”. Not only does Atticus Finch teach his children valuable lessons for life but also “plays with (them), reads to (them), and treats (them) …