ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The J-List Literary Fictional Favorite Characters/Atticus Finch

Updated on August 26, 2015

Cover; To Kill a Mockingbird

The author's ragged copy of the classic novel.
The author's ragged copy of the classic novel. | Source

J-List Summary

Character Atticus Finch

Story To Kill a Mockingbird

Author Harper Lee

J-List # 5

The most telling statement Atticus Finch ever made was the following: “I can’t live one way in town and another way in my home.” He based his relationships with Scout, his rambunctious tomboy of a daughter, and his son Jem upon that tenant. This stance was key to all of his choices including the decision to defend a black man falsely accused of rape by a white woman. He made this choice in the Alabama of old that existed prior to watershed historical moments such as the march on Selma and Birmingham bus boycott. His resolve to live out his belief made him stand out among characters due to his character.

Maycomb housed quite a collection of literary characters. The town set during the depression included readily identified types who portrayed extreme manifestations of their kind along with those truly unique to its southern setting. Atticus interacts with both types of literary icons who populated Maycomb.

Old Monroeville Courthouse

The fictional town of Maycomb is based upon the author's actual hometown of Monroeville, Alabama
The fictional town of Maycomb is based upon the author's actual hometown of Monroeville, Alabama | Source

The central plot of the story is the trial of the unjustly charged black man, Tom Robinson. Atticus took it upon himself to defend Tom Robinson, a decent quiet man who deftly symbolized the fragility of a black man’s existence in the Jim Crow south. Needless to say, the decision to defend him was unpopular. It was regarded as an act of blasphemy by many of the town’s people. Furthermore, the choice was especially bold given that he was their elected official in the state legislature.

Atticus did not entertain any delusions about Mr. Robinson’s chances. He knew that he undertook a quixotic mission. He explained this decision to Scout, whose voice narrates the tale, with these words stamped into cinematic memory: “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”

The J List – Top 10 Literary Fictional Favorite Characters

1. Gabriel “Go Tell It on the Mountain (1953) James Baldwin

2. Miss Clara “The War Room” (2015) Chris Fabry et al

3. Hawkeye “The Last of the Mohicans” (1826) James Fenimore Cooper

4. Julie “Julie of the Wolves” (1972) Jean Craighead George

5. Atticus Finch “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1960) Harper Lee

6. Teresa Mendoza “Queen of the South” (2002) Arturo Perez-Reverte

7. Patria Mercedes Mirabel “In the Time of the Butterflies” (1994) Julia Alvarez

8. Mathu “A Gathering of Old Men” (1983) Ernest J Gaines

9. Yusuf Ali aka ‘Professor Rat’ “ The Washington Square Ensemble” (1984) Madison Smartt Bell

10. Bagheera “ The Jungle Book” (1894) Rudyard Kipling

Fan Favorites

Who is your favorite "Mockingbird" character

See results

Bold action was not new to Atticus. He was renowned for having dispensed of a threat that gripped the town in fear, an incident unrelated to the trial. As such, Bob Ewell would not intimidate him. He, the father of the accuser, Mayella Ewell, personified the vintage Hollywood depiction of a bad southern white male. He was a cruel, lowly, racist, drunken coward of a man whose offspring were rotten apples who did not fall far from his tree. Yet, Atticus stood up to him when confronted.

Atticus did right by everyone. He respected Heck Tate, a southern sheriff who was actually a good guy, a compassionate cop. He held a live and let live attitude towards Boo Radley, a mysterious figure that people believed lived in a haunted house. He supported his domestic help, Calpurnia in her efforts to reprimand his children. He did this at a time when custom demanded black people to refer to all white people, children included, as Mr. and Ms. Atticus even engaged in fair play when doing business with people of lesser means such as the poor but proud Cunningham clan.

Atticus Finch understood the reality of integrity. Whereas it may be inspired by passion, duty, indoctrination or a combination of any or all thereof, it must be acted upon. As such, he took action. He practiced what he preached, thus providing the basis of Maycomb’s long ago story and giving rise to the title of the book. And, as a result, his character stood out among the characters.


It  would be a sin to kill a mockingbird
It would be a sin to kill a mockingbird | Source


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • justthemessenger profile imageAUTHOR

      James C Moore 

      3 years ago from The Great Midwest

      Yes, Atticus was a class act.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 

      3 years ago from San Diego California

      Atticus Finch was truly a superior man in all ways. I loved this book. Great hub.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image


      3 years ago from USA

      I enjoyed your presentation here. My daughter is committed to reading current fiction like Harry Potter, however when she was assigned this book in her high school English class she loved it. She was so surprised that her dad and I had both read it. (Ha!) It is one of my all time favorites.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      3 years ago from The Caribbean

      "Atticus Finch understood the reality of integrity. . . He practiced what he preached." That's why we all love him; he made the story. Thanks for underscoring the kind of character the real word needs.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)