In To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus Finch is both openly criticized throughout Maycomb, yet also very respected. There are many reasons he is respected. To give some: he is generous, courageous, his family, and he’s a good man.
When looking at Atticus it is very understandable to see why the people of Maycomb respect him. Even despite his unpopular political, intellectual, and social beliefs and his agreement to take on Tom Robinson’s case. The longstanding reputation of the Finch family name in Maycomb surely helps. The Finch family is an old and admired family. One of proper breeding and education, unlike that of the Ewells or the Cunninghams. Social structural elements are deeply ingrained in the Southern culture. Aunt Alexandria is deeply proud of this fact, while it doesn’t seem to influence Atticus’s behavior.
Atticus is respected simply because he is a good man who treats everyone fairly and doesn’t parade around his status. He is attentive to his family as we see many times in the book. He also has a wide understanding of human life and mannerisms. He knows what not to do around the countrymen and he knows how to treat people right. These qualities help many of the people of Maycomb to see beyond his decisions as an attorney.
Atticus is a generous man; he shows charity to all people no matter who they are. For example, Mrs. Henry Dubose, even though she is unpleasant to people, including him and even Scout and Jem, he treats her respectfully. Going as far to say that she was the braves person he had known. More importantly, this quality is seen when Atticus serves people with his knowledge of the law without payment in the form of money. For example, he helped Mr. Cunningham. Atticus saw the crops and other stuff given to him as payment enough.
Atticus is also a man of courage. We see this when he stands his ground to the mob outside Tom Robinson’s jailhouse. When he shot the rabid dog, he showed great courage. Although all these are courageous, he shows the most courage when he decides to defend Tom Robinson for the case of Mayella Ewell’s rape.