A traditional hero is often depicted as someone with bulging muscles, who flies around and saves people daily, yet a much more subtle hero arises, from the fatherly figure of Atticus Finch. Atticus has many of the same characteristics as these more traditional heroes, such as wisdom, bravery and integrity. Atticus qualifies as a hero without any superpowers. His rare actions and attributes clearly meet the requirements for a superb hero in his time. Many times throughout Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mocking Bird” Atticus has wise words for his children and teaches them very valuable morals.
Atticus gives the following advice to scout, “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.”(30) This guidance from her father helps scout to view people in a different, more open-minded, way; unlike the many other residents of Maycomb. Atticus teaches the sympathy to Scout through this advice and Scout ends up truly understanding Boo Radley because of this advice.
Another moral Atticus successfully teaches to Jem is courage. “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.” (112) Atticus tells Jem when explaining why he made him visit Mrs. Dubose all that time. Atticus explains that courage is not always what it seems, that you don’t have to be have a gun to be courageous. Atticus’s wise view on life helps his children to not only learn to be better people, but to understand very important life lessons from their experiences.
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