To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, takes place in the town of Maycomb, Alabama. This novel was based on the times of the great depression. In the small town of Maycomb racism is very common and ordinary. Atticus Finch is lawyer who has a court case that involves a black man, Tom Robinson, being accused of rape. Atticus goes through with the case even though he knows that he will most likely lose the case due to the racist town and judges. Atticus is a significant character and a great role model to his children, Jem and Scout. A significant characteristic Atticus shows is that he is very wise. Atticus is also not a racist. Another signifying characteristic of Atticus is that he is a great lawyer.
Throughout the story Atticus shows the children that he is very wise by teaching Jem and Scout a very important morals. One of the morals Atticus teaches Jem and Scout is to try to understand people before you start judging them. Atticus says “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view - until you climb into his skin and walk around in it”. These words of wisdom helped Scout finally understand how to view to town of Maycomb as Arthur “Boo” Ridley, another character in the novel that was thought to be a crazy old man, had seen it for years. The wisdom Atticus passes on to Jem and Scout are very helpful throughout the story.
Atticus is also not a racist. Atticus tries his hardest to teach Jem that racist people are nothing but trash. Atticus says “As you grow older, you'll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don't you forget it-whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash.” Atticus teaches this to Jem to prevent Jem from ever being racist. Jem took those works to heart and never again said anything racist throughout the rest of the book.
Atticus is a great lawyer. Even though he lost the trail for Tom Robinson, he still did all that was possible for him to do. He gathered all the evidence necessary to have won the case. Atticus says“Now, there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten - savagely, by someone who led exclusively with his left. And Tom Robinson now sits before you having taken the oath with the only good hand he possesses... his RIGHT.” That quote along with the rest of the evidence should have resulted in a winning trial for Atticus, but instead he lost. Even though he lost Atticus was a great lawyer who brought great evidence to his cases.
Atticus is a very significant character in the story. He taught his children the many lessons they needed to become outstanding, respectful, and respected citizens just like he was. He was a great lawyer and did his best in the trial with Tom Robinson. He may have lost but he still managed to open the eyes of some white men and women blinded by racism. Atticus was a great lawyer, friend, and father figure and that what makes him such a significant character in the story To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.