Analytical Essay Sample on a Fictional Character – Atticus Finch

Posted on October 20, 2014

Atticus Finch is basically a fictional character that we all know from the world-famous novel written by Harper Lee ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ According to the novel, Finch, a resident of Maycomb County, which is also a fictional country in Alabama, is a lawyer and the father of two children named Jeremy and Jean. Apparently, Lee created his character Finch on the basis of the characteristics taken from his own father, Coleman Lee. Coleman was, just like Finch, a lawyer in Alabama and worked hard to voice and defend the rights of black citizens accused of a myriad of crimes. Most of the trials taken by Coleman were highly publicized, just as those that are taken by Finch.

In the novel, Finch is described as a strong individual with a very strong character. Atticus Finch is a single father to two kids – Scout and Jem Finch. Working as an attorney at Maycomb County, Finch is a respectable character of the novel. He is also described as an individual who is never afraid to put his own life in danger while defending the rights of accused blacks. In other words, the man has strong life principles – honesty, courage, humility, and dignity. His parenting style becomes a perfect role model for kids. He adheres to his principles, and always remains honest with his conscience. The author virtuously blends two significant characteristics in Atticus Finch. First, the man is a professional and honest lawyer. Second, Atticus is a dutiful, caring, and loving father that teaches his kids that empathy should never be limited to those people who try to look nice and polite on the outside. Not only did the cases place his life in danger but the cases also posed a big threat to his career. These threats, however, did not seem to scare away Finch who even worked hard on the highly publicized and controversial cases.

Finch’s character is that of an individual who actively pursues justice and demonstrates good examples of a scout. The character also demonstrates the importance of integrity and how important it is to be willing to sacrifice everything that one has in pursuit of the truth and in search of justice. Atticus Finch does not like criminal law. However, the man accepts his appointment to the case of Tom Robinson. Even before the hearing, the attorney realizes that he’s not going to win this case. Nevertheless, Finch exerts every effort to provide man with the strongest defense. And, what is more important, the attorney does his best to help Tom not because the man is an African American. The reason why Atticus Finch puts so much effort into this case is that he knows that his defendant is innocent. Deep down inside, Atticus truly believes and actually dreams about the justice system that is colorblind. With that in mind, he makes every effort to defend Tom as a person that has nothing to be blamed for, not a man of color.

It is as if Lee admired his father so much that he decided to illustrate what he thought of his father in the book. Lee, through Finch’s character, appears to be teaching the audience that once they believe in something, they should not be afraid to go after that thing, regardless of the consequences.
One of the most popular quotations in the book is the one that states, ‘One can never really understand an individual until one begins looking at the situation at hand from the view of that individual. It is not until one climbs into an individual’s skin and walks around in it that one will understand that individual.’ In this quote, Finch appears to be giving an important piece of advice to Scout when she experiences a very tough time while in school. The quote is meant to help Scout go back to school even though she had made up her mind never to go back to school.

The other popular quotation is as follows, ‘The one thing that does not follow the majority of what is accepted by people is an individual’s conscience.’ This is a famous quote in the book because it offers a piece of advice that many people can use by directly applying it to their own situations. What Finch is actually saying is that people should learn to accept the fact there are certain things that happen in life that we can do nothing about and should therefore not fight them but learn to accept them as they are.

Tips on writing a good 5-paragraph essay on Atticus Finch:

  • A five-paragraph essay is a piece of academic assignment that is based on a solid format that comprises an introductory paragraph, three body sections, and a conclusion. Learning to produce a high-quality paper of this type is an important skill for high school students and college undergrads since it provides them with a great opportunity to express some ideas, thoughts, and concepts properly, logically, and with solid evidence that supports all of the claims they make.
  • Write a good introduction. Your first paragraph contains your intro. Make sure it accomplishes the following set of goals: hook the reader’s attention, present the topic, and include a point of view or a claim in the form of a thesis statement. Incorporate a good hook into your introductory paragraph to make your readers keep on reading your work. In the case of the essay about Atticus Finch, you can use an intriguing question or an interesting fact. For instance, you can intrigue your readers by saying that Harper Lee‘s Pulitzer Prize-winning classic was almost called Atticus, but the author decided to title it “To Kill a Mockingbird” to ensure it’s not focused on just one character.
  • Write three body paragraphs, each containing one main idea that is related to your thesis statement. To ensure they’re composed properly, check if every paragraph has a topic sentence, supporting data, and two or three sentences that include solid evidence. Make sure your paragraphs flow smoothly into each other by using the transition words, like ‘in fact,’ ‘likewise,’ ‘what is more,’ ‘for this reason,’ ‘on the whole,’ and so on.
  • The final paragraph serves as a conclusion to your work. Sum up your main points and restate your main claim (use different words!). Do not repeat the examples that you included in your body section. Finally, make sure that the concluding paragraph of your analytical essay about Atticus Finch leaves a long-lasting aftertaste on your target audience.

Once you’re done with the first draft, revisit your introduction, and re-read your thesis statement. Are the supporting paragraphs strong enough to address the topic of the essay? Have you successfully covered the subject? Check your essay from A to Z to see if it flows logically and smoothly, as well as to ensure it supports the plot of the book.

All in all, writing an analytical essay on Atticus Finch includes the following steps:

  • Using concrete examples;
  • Commenting on every example or argument you include in the essay;
  • Avoiding details that make your writing too descriptive and staying on point in your discussion.
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