Life Lessons From Atticus Finch

The book “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is set in the 1930s. Over 60 years later, as America begins to grapple with issues surrounding race and privilege, a new film adaptation of Atticus Finch’s life was released this summer. The protagonist of the film has gone on to become an icon for those who believe that racism can be overcome through love and understanding.

Atticus Finch is a fictional character in the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. He is a moral, principled man who teaches his children to be good people. The life lessons from Atticus Finch are important for all of us to remember.

Gregory Peck potrait.

When it comes to literary macho figures, I can’t help but think of one man:

Atticus Finch is a character in the novel Atticus Finch.

This character from To Kill a Mockingbird may seem to be an odd pick. A three-piece suit is worn by a gentleman. Jem and Scout are his two children, and he is a widower. Instead of being arrogant, he was silent. Instead of being macho, he is polite. A lawyer who walked away from insults by using his wits rather than his fists. Who did not gamble or smoke, and preferred to stroll rather than drive. A guy who preferred nothing more than to lose himself in a good book. Yes, Atticus may not seem to be very “manly,” at least by today’s standards.

But it’s the intricacy of his manliness, the way he conducted himself, raised his children, and made decisions that makes his manliness all the more genuine, all the more compelling. His masculinity was shown not via grand gestures, but through calm, persistent power and remarkable self-possession. Atticus Finch’s manliness does not spring off the page; rather, it burrows its way inside you, remains with you, and makes your soul declare, “Now that is the type of man I want to be.”

To Kill a Mockingbird has many and strong instances of noble masculinity, and we’d like to look at a few of them today.

Atticus Finch teaches us about manliness.

No one else wants to perform the work that a guy does.

The events of To Kill a Mockingbird take place against the background of Atticus’ portrayal of Tom Robinson. Mayella Ewell, a white lady, has accused Robinson, a black man, of rape. While a court appoints Atticus to be Robinson’s public defender, he draws the townspeople’s wrath by insisting on defending him honorably and fairly to the best of his skills.

He performs the task that has to be done but that no one else wants or is frightened to do.

Miss Maudie splayed her fingers on her knees and settled her bridgework inside when she wanted to speak something long. We waited as she did this.

“All I want to say is that there are certain males in this world who were created to take care of our terrible duties.” One of them is your father.”

“Oh,” Jem said. “Well.”

Miss Maudie said, “Don’t you oh well me, sir,” recognizing Jem’s fatalistic tones, “you are not old enough to grasp what I meant.”

A guy steps in to fill the void and performs what has to be done. Even one’s harshest opponents revere one who does so; after receiving a barrage of insults and threats from his neighbors for his support of Tom Robinson, Atticus is re-elected to the state legislature…unanimously.

Every day, a guy lives his life with honesty.

Atticus was renowned in Maycomb County for being “the same in his home as he is on the public streets.” That was the bar he set for himself. He didn’t have separate values for work and for family, nor did he have separate morals for weekdays and weekends. He was incapable of doing anything that might jeopardize his conscience’s inviolability. Even when the option was controversial, he chose the honorable choice.


“This situation, Tom Robinson’s case, cuts to the heart of a man’s conscience-Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God until I tried to assist that guy.”

“You must be mistaken, Atticus…”

“How’s it going?”

“Well, it seems that the majority of people believe they are correct and you are incorrect…”

“They have every right to believe that, and they have every right to complete respect for their ideas,” Atticus remarked, “but before I can live with other people, I have to live with myself.” The conscience of a person is the one thing that defies majority rule.”

Atticus recognized that a man’s integrity was the most essential trait he had, since it was the foundation upon which his honor and others’ confidence were constructed. When a man’s integrity is shattered, he becomes weak and powerless, no longer a positive influence in his family or society.

“How come you’re defending him when you shouldn’t be?”

“For a variety of reasons,” Atticus said. “The major reason is that if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to hold my head up in town, I wouldn’t be able to represent this county in the legislature, and I wouldn’t be able to order you or Jem to do anything.”

“Do you mean Jem and I wouldn’t have to worry about you if you didn’t protect that man?”

“That’s about correct,” says the narrator.


“Because I’d never ask you to look after me again.” Scout, every lawyer has at least one case that touches him personally in his lifetime because to the nature of the job. “This one belongs to me.”

Moral courage is the most significant kind of bravery.

Gregory Peck addressing in front of public.

Physical, intellectual, and moral bravery are the three categories of courage.

When Tom was in jail, Atticus stood outside all night reading and faced off an irate crowd bent on lynching the prisoner.

Moral courage, on the other hand, is undoubtedly the most essential form of bravery, and Atticus had enough of it. Moral bravery is the ability to adhere to your beliefs and do the right thing even when the rest of the world condemns and torments you. Atticus and his family received a barrage of insults and threats as a result of his choice to defend Tom Robinson. But he was prepared to face the assault with his head held high.

Moral bravery also gives you the courage to fight a struggle you know you’ll lose only because you feel the cause is right. Atticus is well aware that his defense of Tom Robinson would fail. When Scout questioned Atticus about why he kept going, he replied:

“Just because we were licked a hundred years before we began doesn’t mean we shouldn’t attempt to win.”

Mrs. Henry Lafayette Dubose was utilized by Atticus to teach Jem the importance of moral bravery.

Mrs. Dubose was a sickly, cantankerous old lady who would chastise Jem and Scout if they came close to her home. Jem attempted to follow his father’s advice about being a gentleman, but one day he snapped and tore up her flower gardens. Every day after school, Atticus had Jem read novels to Mrs. Dubose as a punishment. He was happy when his sentence finished since she didn’t appear to be paying attention to his reading.


Atticus disclosed the actual purpose of Jem’s mission when Mrs. Dubose died shortly after. Jem’s reading had been a diversion while she sought to wean herself off the medication; she had been a morphine addict for a long time and wanted to conquer her addiction before she died. To Jem, Atticus explained:

“Son, I told you I’d make you read to her if you hadn’t lost your mind.” Instead of acquiring the sense that bravery is a guy with a pistol in his hand, I wanted you to see something about her—I wanted you to realize what true courage is. It’s when you know you’ve been licked before you start, but you still go ahead and do it anyway. You don’t always win, but you do sometimes. Mrs. Dubose won the whole ninety-eight pound bet. She died owed to nothing and nobody, in her opinion. She was the most courageous person I had ever met.”

Live quietly and dignifiedly.

Gregory Peck walking down the street. Despite the fact that Bob Ewell “won” the case against Tom Robinson, he harbored a resentment towards everyone involved in the trial for exposing him as a scumbag. Ewell threatened Atticus’ life after the trial, insulted him, and spit in his face. Atticus just pulled out a handkerchief and wiped his face in answer, causing Ewell to inquire:

“You nigger-lovin’ bastard, too proud to fight?”

“No, too old,” Atticus responded before walking away with his hands in his pockets.

It’s often assumed that answering tit for tat is the macho thing to do. It takes more courage to refuse to descend to another man’s level and to walk away with dignity. “A gentleman will not offend me, and no one not a gentleman can insult me,” Frederick Douglass declared. Atticus lived by this principle.

Gregory Peck holding a gun.

Atticus’ calm dignity shone through in his genuine humility.

Jem and Scout are disappointed in their father at one point in the novel; at 50, he is older and less active than their contemporaries’ fathers. He doesn’t seem to know how to be “cool.” When Atticus kills a rabid dog with a single gunshot and they hear that their father is recognized as the “deadliest shooter in Maycomb County,” their perspective changes. Jem is awestruck by his father’s demonstration of expertise, all the more so since Atticus has never felt the need to boast about his abilities.

“I wouldn’t mind if Atticus couldn’t do anything—I wouldn’t mind if he couldn’t accomplish a blessed thing,” she says.

Jem joyfully grabbed up a rock and hurled it at the carhouse. “Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!” he cried back as he ran after it.

The importance of cultivating empathy cannot be overstated.

Gregory Peck standing in court with Thomas Robinson.If there was one redeeming quality about Atticus, it was his near-superhuman sensitivity. When his children were furious about their town’s misconduct or ignorance, he would promote their tolerance and respect by encouraging them to consider the other person’s point of view:


“If you can master a basic skill, Scout, you’ll get along with a lot more people.” You cannot really comprehend a guy unless you think about things from his perspective—until you jump into his skin and stroll about in it.”

Atticus recognized that individuals could only be held accountable for what they knew, that not everyone had a perfect upbringing, and that people were doing the best they could given the circumstances. Above all, Atticus tried to recognize the good in people and figure out why they did the things they did.

Scout protested to Atticus about her teacher humiliating a poor kid, and he persuaded her that the teacher was new to town and couldn’t be expected to know the backgrounds of all the children in her class right immediately. When a poor man whom Atticus had assisted with legal issues joined the crowd in an attempt to harm him and lynch Tom, Atticus defended him, stating that he was a nice guy who had some blind spots and had been engulfed in the mob mentality.

Even when he was spat on, Bob Ewell replied with empathy:

“Jem, try putting yourself in Bob Ewell’s shoes for a minute.” At that trial, I shattered his last shred of credibility, assuming he had any to begin with. The guy had to make a return, as his species usually does. So, if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayella Ewell one more beating, I’ll happily accept it. He had to vent his frustrations on someone, and I’d better it was me than that home full of kids. “Do you get it?”

Set a good example for your children.

Gregory Peck reading book with Scout. Atticus is most famous for being a wonderful parent. He might have given his children to a relative as a widower, but he was completely dedicated to them. With Jem and Scout, he was compassionate, protective, and immensely patient; he was tough but fair, and he was constantly seeking for ways to broaden his children’s empathy, impart a little of knowledge, and help them grow into decent people.

“Atticus, do you protect niggers?” That evening, I inquired of him.

“Of course I do,” says the speaker. Scout, don’t speak nigger. That’s not unusual.”

“That’s what the rest of the class says.”

“From now on, everyone will be one less.”

As a parent, he let his children to be themselves while nurturing their own identities. During an unusual blizzard in Alabama, Jem carried a load of dirt from the backyard to the front, fashioned a snowman out of the mud, and then covered the mudman with a layer of snow, determined to make a snowman out of the minimal snow on the ground. When Atticus returned home, he might have been irritated with the youngsters for destroying the grass, but instead he was impressed by Jem’s inventiveness.

“I had no clue how you were going to accomplish it, but from now on, I won’t be concerned about what happens to you, son; you’ll always have a plan.”


Scout’s sister desired that tomboy Scout would wear skirts, play with tea sets, and be the “sunshine” for her father; her critical words often wounded Scout’s heart. Scout, on the other hand, questioned her father about the criticism:

He said that there were already enough sunbeams in the family and that I could go about my business as I was.

He also got her the air gun she wanted for Christmas.

Above all, Atticus led by example for Jem and Scout. He was not only always truthful with them, but he was truthful in all he did.

He not only read the newspaper to them every evening, but he also demonstrated a love of reading for them. As a consequence, his children devoured any and all books they could get their hands on. (Recent research shows that children who have dads who read are more inclined to read themselves.)

And he wasn’t only an example of civility and kindness to his children; he was also a model of courtesy and kindness to prickly sorts like Mrs. Dubose:

“Good evening, Mrs. Dubose!” Atticus would remark as the three of us arrived to the home, sweeping off his hat and waving gallantly. This evening, you look like a model.”

I’ve never heard Atticus say anything like that. He’d give her the courtroom news and express his sincere wish that she’d have a wonderful day tomorrow. In her presence, he would replace his hat to his head, sling me to his shoulders, and we would walk home in the dusk. At moments like this, I believed my father, who despised firearms and had never served in a war, was the bravest man alive.



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The “to kill a mockingbird life lessons essay” is a book that has been around for many years. It was written by Harper Lee and it tells the story of a young girl, Scout Finch, who helps her father defend their home against the racist system in their town. The novel has some great life lessons that can be learned from it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most important lesson Atticus teaches Scout?

A: One of the most important lessons Atticus teaches Scout is that every person you meet has a story to tell. He also helps her realize that although she doesnt know what it might be, she should ask anyways and listen with an open mind.

What values does Atticus teach his children?

What morals does Atticus teach Jem and Scout?

A: Atticus teaches Scout and Jem to have good manners, respect for others, be brave in tough situations (even if it seems scary), work hard at school and never give up even when things get difficult.

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