Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch brings a positive and sometimes negative impact to the lives of Maycomb, Alabama. He affects multiple people with their problems and helps them get through it.
People, and especially his children, have their own opinions on him because of his certain beliefs and morality that he stands up for. Two major characteristics of his personality is that he’s wise and understanding with people. However, one of his flaws is that some see him as feeble. First of all, Atticus is wise and uses his intelligence to help people that he cares about. For example, “”Scout,” said Atticus, “nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything—like snot-nose.
It’s hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It’s slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.”(pg 144). This shows that he gives his children ,and sometimes others, advice when they need it. When they don’t understand something, he is right there to explain why a certain thing happened or elaborate on a certain topic.
Also, “First of all,” he said, “if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you’ll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view-” “Sir?” “-until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” (pg 39).This is to show that he tries to teach Scout to always consider others people’s perspective. He explains to her that you never know why someone thinks that until you see there perspective on life.
These quotes prove that he is wise because he teaches people, like Scout, valuable lessons that they are going to need to be taught about the world eventually. For example, Scout needed this advice to fully understand this certain thing since she was too young to convey what was actually happening at that time. Atticus is acquainted to these topics and is able to understand why certain things happen in the first place. Next, Atticus is understanding with people since he knows everyone has a different perspective in the world. He understands why people choose and make certain decisions. For example, “”Mr.
Cunningham’s basically a good man,” he said, “he just has his blind spots along with the rest of us.”( pg 210). This is to show that Atticus understands why Mr .Cunningham and others chose to make their decisions.
To back track what happened, Mr Cunningham and others were part of a mob that wanted to lynch Tom Robinson before the trial. Atticus calls the certain things that we don’t get or understand our”blind spots”. These blind spots according to Atticus are influenced by bias and society overall.He understands this because he knows that these blind spots don’t widen our perspective on problems that we face. In addition, “Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s shoes a minute.
I destroyed his last shred of credibility at that trial, if he had any to begin with. The man had to have some kind of comeback, his kind always does.” ( pg 292). This proves that Atticus understood why Mr.
Ewell threatened and cursed at him. He understands that he destroyed Bob Ewell’s reputation throughout the town. This proves that Atticus understands people’s actions.
This type of characteristic makes him an important character in the book. He helps individuals understand others and to not be influenced by others perspectives even though people don’t agree with them. Although, Atticus Finch may seem to have no flaws, he has one flaw that sometimes affect how he acts and how others see him. His children describe him as feeble at one point in the book. For example’ ” He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries, and there was nothing Jem or I could say about him..
” (pg 118). This shows that Scout and Jem think they have nothing to talk about Atticus like other people at their school. His age can hold him back with his children and make his children think he isn’t interesting at all.
Also, ” Atticus’s peaceful reaction probably prompted him to inquire, ‘Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin’ bastard?’ Miss Stephanie said Atticus said, ‘No, too old,’ put his hands in his pockets and strolled on.” (pg 291). Here Mr Ewell accosted Atticus for defending Tom Robinson in the trial and ruining his credibility. When Mr. Ewell questions him on why he’s not fighting back, Atticus simply said the he was too old to. This shows that Atticus’s age plays a part on how he interacts with other people. He could’ve said something instead of letting Bob call him names and yell at him.
Atticus Finch has his old age play a part sometimes on how he acts in certain circumstances. As you can see, Atticus finch is one of the most influential characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. His personality affects others around him in either good or bad. He helps people get through their problems and tries to not let his flaws get in the way of him helping others. These characteristics truly show who Atticus Finch is as a character. Atticus is smart, understanding, feeble, and has plenty more characteristics that contribute to showing his strengths as a person in Maycomb.