Atticus Finch Essay Example: A Hero or Not?



In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus is a hero because he went above and beyond to defend Tom Robinson. The word hero is described as, “a person admired for achievements and noble qualities” (Merriam-Webster's collegiate dictionary, 1999). Before the trial when Tom Robinson was at the jail a lynch mob was going to kill him. Atticus stayed with Tom Robinson that night to protect him from being killed. When the lynch mob came over they told Atticus, “You know what we want,’ another man said. ‘Get aside from the door, Mr. Finch.’ ‘You can turn around and go home again, Walter.” (Lee 172).

As a lawyer Atticus didn’t have to stay with him, he could have stayed home and let Tom Robinson be killed. But Atticus went above and beyond just to protect Tom Robinson from the lynch mob. In addition, when Atticus is talking to Scout he tells her he wouldn’t be able to go to church and praise God if he didn’t try to protect this man. While other layers would not have put any effort in to prove that Tom Robinson was innocent. Atticus explains to Scout that, “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience-Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.” (Lee 120).

All the other layers wouldn’t have put any effort into the trial to prove that Tom Robinson is innocent. But Atticus went above and beyond and proved that he was innocent. In conclusion, Atticus is a hero for going above and beyond his job to protect and prove that Tom Robinson was innocent. First, he stayed with Tom overnight to make sure he would be killed. Atticus then took his case to heart and proved that Tom was innocent. Atticus is a hero for doing more than he needed to for a man he didn’t even know.

Work Cited

"Dictionary by Merriam-Webster: America's Most-trusted Online Dictionary."  Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster, n.d. Web. 03 Oct. 2019.

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. 1960. HarperCollins, 2002.