“…but do one thing for me if you will: you just hold
your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you,
don’t let ‘em get your goat. Try fighting with your head for a change…”
I read To Kill a Mockingbird as part of the Back to Classics Challenge, but I didn’t write a review. A review doesn’t always have to be a summary + my thoughts affair. That is why, I’ve been saving my thoughts about To Kill A Mockingbird (by Nellie Harper Lee) for this day. It may not be my favourite book, but it is not a classic for no reason. This book is not just any bildungsroman, it’s a book of how two little kids, who initially think of their father as an old, gray, dull man; learn to see the world through his eyes. So, here’s a Father’s Day post about Atticus Finch, probably the best father figure in literature.
“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 his point of view – until you climb into his skin and walk
around in it.”
Atticus Finch, the father of Jem and Scout (from whose point of view, we learn the story) is a lawyer and a resident of the (fictional) town of Maycomb, Alabama. He is smart and just (a rare quality for a lawyer) and takes insults rather than hitting back. In a book that contains the most well-shaped, seemingly real characters ever, Atticus Finch stands out as a hero. A good father is not someone who deals with all the problems in his life, while maintaining a seemingly happy and warm bubble of ignorance around his children. I love the way Finch disciplines his children; lets them think for themselves, includes them in everything, let’s them know things that are considered widely to be “wrong for kids” and becomes a hero in their minds as well. He keeps them safe, while making sure that they know, what they’re being kept safe from, and also making sure that they don’t need to be kept safe. He is the kind of father, who respects his children, and I loved him for that.
One of my favourite moments in the book is when Jem proudly announces, “Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!”
Happy Father’s Day!