Why was Atticus Finch so popular?


Harper Lee has passed away

This got me thinking about one of the best characters in literature. Atticus Finch.

Polite and charming Atticus Finch, a lawyer who used his words instead of his fists. A fictional character who had a bigger impact on the legal profession than a living man could. I’m not exaggerating with this claim, Atticus has become something of a folk hero in the legal profession, so said by Alice Petry. He has been cited in cases as being an influence on the final judgement and has been credited with being the inspiration for hundred of young people to enter the legal profession.

“No real-life lawyer has done more for the self-image or public perception of the legal profession.” Michigan Law Review in May 1999.

Atticus gives us something to aspire to, he teaches us moral lessons, and he does so well. He tells us with his words and shows us with his actions.

One of the main lessons of the book is empathy, as Atticus puts it “to put yourself in other people’s skin and walk around in it.” In the novel, no one is willing to emphasise with Tom Robinson because of his race. Atticus does, though, he takes the case when no one else will and puts himself at risk by doing so. Which leads me to the second lesson of the book, courage.

Atticus is courageous, no he doesn’t fight dragons or monsters. He fights something far worse, and he does it well, with dignity and heart.

“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

If any of my characters can have on twentieth the effect on the world that Atticus has had then, I will consider my job very well done indeed. Thank you, Harper Lee.

Katie Marie wrote a Book. A big one and a couple of little ones. Check them out!


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