To Kill a Mockinbird Character Analysis Project

By Tatum Brown

Atticus Finch


The symbol of an owl was chosen to represent Atticus Finch. Owls mainly symbolize wisdom, and intelligence but they also symbolize strength and independence. While these things represent an owl, they also represent Mr. Atticus Finch. An example would be, in the very beginning of the book, we learn that Atticus is very wise when he is talking to Scout about why she is upset about her first day of school. She is unhappy with her teacher when Atticus says, "First of all, if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view. Or until you climb into their skin and walk around in it." (Lee 39). When you see an owl, it's usually by itself in a tree, being independent. Atticus enjoys time on his own when he is reading, or working. This time away from people gives himself time to think and reflect on certain events.

Character Traits

Two character traits that clearly represent Atticus Finch are politeness, and thoughtfulness. Throughout the entire book Atticus is always polite. Even when he is mad, upset, called mean things, etc, he holds his ground, and remains polite in every situation. After the Tom Robinson trial, Atticus was leaving from the post office when Mr. Ewell came up to him spit his tobacco on Atticus, and cursed at him. "Atticus didn't bat an eye, just took out his handkerchief and wiped his face and stood there and let Mr. Ewell call him names." (Lee 291). When Mr. Ewell got no reaction from Atticus, he said ""Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin' bastard?" Atticus said "No, too old," put his hands in his pockets and strolled on." (Lee 291). This shows that even when Atticus is in situations where he could fight back or become angry and rude, he keeps what he believes in true, and doesn't let it get to him. In multiple parts of the book, Atticus shows that he is very thoughtful. "Walter Cunningham's father was one of Atticus's clients. After a dreary conversation in our living room one night about his entailment, before Mr. Cunningham left he said, "Mr. Finch, I don't know when I'll ever be able to pay you." Atticus responded, "Let that be the least of your worries, Walter."" (Lee 26&27). Atticus was more worried about helping Mr. Cunningham than getting paid. Atticus was more than thankful when Mr. Cunningham repaid him with certain other things such as bringing the Finch's some stove wood, a sack of nuts, etc.

Color Representation

The color blue clearly represents the whole character of Atticus Finch. Blue is most commonly associated with loyalty, honesty, intelligence, passion, trust, peace, etc. All of these characteristics can also be used to describe Atticus. One of the biggest of these is passion. Atticus is passionate in everything he does, whether that be loving his children, or standing up for what he believes in, and fighting to prove Tom Robinson innocent. Atticus proves in To Kill a Mockingbird that all men are created equal, and you should love them no matter what color skin they have. ""You aren't a nigger-lover, then are you Atticus? Asks Scout. Atticus responds by saying, "I most certainly am. I do my best to love everybody... I'm hard put, sometimes--baby, it's never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn't hurt you."" (Lee 144&145). By saying this to Scout, Atticus just wants things to be peaceful, even if someone calls him a bad name, he just ignores it because he is standing up for what is just, and right.

Plot Line Connection

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus is connected most to the trial of Tom Robinson plot line. ""Do all lawyers defend Negroes, Atticus?" Scout asked. "Of course they do, Scout." Said Atticus. "Then why did Cecil say you defended niggers? He made it sound like you were runnin' a still." Atticus sighed. "I'm simply defending a Negro- his name's Tom Robinson. He lives in that little settlement beyond the town dump."" (Lee 100). Despite what Maycomb thinks, Atticus agrees to defend a black man named Tom Robinson, who has been accused of raping a white woman, named Mayella Ewell. This wouldn't of been so bad, except for the fact that Maycomb is almost all white and were very racist on the issue. This caused the almost the entire white community to turn their backs on the Finch's, including Jem and Scout. The other black people in Maycomb are very thankful for what Atticus is doing. They embrace the Finch's with open arms. At Tom's trial, Atticus provides the jury with multiple true facts that should prove Tom innocent, but in the end he is proved guilty.

"All About Me" Poem

Sources Used

Lee, Harper. To Kill a Mockingbird. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1960. Print.

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"Plot Overview of To Kill a Mockingbird." SparkNotes. SparkNotes, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <>.