Atticus Finch

A mind map of the character Atticus Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Atticus Finch by Mind Map: Atticus Finch


1.1. Persistence

1.1.1. "You rarely win, but sometimes you do." Atticus is saying that he will try and try again, even if the odds are against him.

1.2. Christianity

1.2.1. “Scout, I couldn’t go to Church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man." Page 114 - Chapter 11 He believes in Christian principles. He believes that, in following his religion, he needs to help his fellow man, no matter what color their skin is.

1.3. Truth

1.3.1. "If they hear me saying downtown something different happened - Heck, I won't have them anymore. I can't live one way in town and another way in my home." Page 299 - Chapter 30 Even though Atticus believes that it was his own son that killed Bob Ewell, Atticus was determined that Jeremy (Jem) be tried and cleared. He didn't want lies to be told for the sake of his son.

1.4. Empathy

1.4.1. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view." Page 31 - Chapter 3 Atticus believes in appreciating other people's situation, before making uniformed judgements.


2.1. Polite/Courteous

2.1.1. "We've done business in this court for years, and Mr. Finch is always courteous to everybody. He's not trying to koch you, he's trying to be polite. That's just his way." Page 198 - Chapter 18 Atticus is a gentlemen to everyone. He keeps to his values when dealing with other people, regardless of their reciprocal treatment.

2.2. Non-Prejudice

2.2.1. “I am simply defending a Negro-his name is Tom Robinson,” said Atticus. Page 82 - Chapter 9 He sees all people as equal and worthy of legal representation. He defends Tom thus.

2.3. Affectionate

2.3.1. "He would be there all night, and he would be there when Jem waked up in the morning." Page 307 - Chapter 31 Atticus is a loving father to his children. He is not afraid to show tenderness towards his children.


3.1. Motivated by his children, to raise them to be good and understanding with high moral standards.

3.1.1. "You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view ... Until you climb into his skin and walk around it." Page 31- chapter 3 He teaches his children valuable lessons in life. He wants them to grow up to be good people, not being prejudiced as many others are.

3.2. Conscience

3.2.1. "Before I can live with other folk I've got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience." Page 114 - Chapter 11 He adheres to his values, since ignoring them would be against his conscience.

3.3. Being a Gentleman: Set an Example

3.3.1. '"Easy does it, son," Atticus would say. "She's an old lady and she's ill. You just hold your head high and be a gentleman. Whatever she says to you, it's your job not to let her make you mad." - "Good evening, Mrs. Dubose! You look like a picture this evening." - Page 109 - Chapter 11 Atticus is a gentleman, and he wants Jem to be a gentleman. Mrs. Dubose is a twisted old lady, but even when she is mean and rude, Atticus is always sweet and kind to her.


4.1. The town sees him as attached to black people

4.1.1. "Nigger-lover" Page 89 - Chapter 9 Black people are considered inferior and untrustworthy. Blacks who commit crimes against white people are especially heinous. Atticus is being insulted and persecuted for defending Tom.

4.2. His children stand up for him, as he is their role model

4.2.1. "Son, I have no doubt that you've been annoyed by your comtemporaries about me lawing for niggers, as you say, I strongly advise you to go down and have a talk with Mrs. Dubose." - Page 113 - Chapter 11 Mrs. Dubose was being rude to the children by calling their father names, some of these made Jem snap. He went and cut down all of her camellia bushes.

4.3. One-shot Finch

4.3.1. "Atticus was the deadest shot in Maycomb in his time." Page 106 - Chapter 10 Atticus was a excellent marksman. He is respected for this. Jem and Scout see him as a brilliant hunter, but learn his stance on mockingbirds.


5.1. Old and Feeble

5.1.1. "Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty." Page 97 - Chapter 10 : "His age was beginning to one noticed not his jet-black but the grey patches growing at his temples." Page - Chapter 1 Scout and Jem say that Atticus doesn't do any of the activities that other children's' dad's do because he is too old. He told the children that he just got started later.

5.2. Always Dressed Nice

5.2.1. "He unbuttoned his vest, unbuttoned his collar, loosened his tie, and took off his coat. He never loosened a scrap of his clothing until he undressed at bedtime." Page 221 - Chapter 20 He is a gentleman, so he must dress like a gentleman.

5.3. Wears Glasses

5.3.1. "Besides that, he wore glasses. He was nearly blind in his left eye." - Page 97 - Chapter 10 Scout thinks this is a sign of him being old. She thinks part of the reason he wears glasses is because he is old.


6.1. Bob Ewell's Threat

6.1.1. "This morning Mr. Bob Ewell stopped Atticus on the post-office corner, spat in his face, and told him he'd get him if it took the rest of his life." Page 236 - Chapter 22 Bob Ewell is not a nice man, but Atticus doesn't think that he will go through with this threat, his family doesn't agree. Because Atticus sees the good in people, he thinks that Mr. Ewell's threat won't be acted upon.

6.2. Disgracing the Family

6.2.1. "Grandma says it's bad enough he lets you all run wild, but he's turned out a nigger-lover we'll never be able to work the streets of Maycomb again. He's ruinin' the family, that's what he's doin'." Page 90 - Chapter 9 Family values are very important. Certain members of the family believe that they have a distinguished reputation to uphold, and that Atticus is ruining it by defending a black man.

6.3. Protecting the innocent

6.3.1. "The main one is, if I didn't, I couldn't hold up my head in town, I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again." pg 75, chp 9. This quote defines Atticus's character. When he says that he could not hold his head up in town if he didn't defend Tom, he means that he has spent his life trying to do what is right and moral. He knows, and he truly believes that his town knows, that the right thing to do is to defend and protect Tom from a prejudicial and false accusation.

6.4. Maycomb turning against him

6.4.1. "Nigger loving father of yours" A few of the townspeople don't agree with his actions in defending Tom Robinson. They turn against him by insulting him. Atticus has a calm and non-aggressive attitude to this.