Monday, July 11, 2011
Who was Atticus Finch? Atticus Finch was a fictional character; he was the hero of Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.
Finch was a model of a lawyer and a father, who took upon himself to defend a black man unjustly accused of raping a white woman in the deep South of the 1930s. Lee said she based the character on her father, a white attorney who once defended two black men on trial for murder.
The novel, published on today's date in 1961, won a Pulitzer Prize, and librarians voted it the best novel of the 20th century. Gregory Peck played the film version of Atticus Finch, winning an Oscar for the role. In 2003, the American Film Institute voted Atticus Finch the greatest cinema hero of all time in its special feature, AFI's 100 years. Lee never wrote another novel. In 2007, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Quote: "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 inside of his skin and walk around in it." — Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird