Atticus Finch is the protagonist's father in Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird. He is a lawyer and resident of Maycomb County, Alabama, and the father of Jem and Scout Finch. He is a widower and a lawyer, both characteristics which help him raise his children in a particular manner, teaching them to be fair and just. .
Harper Lee based this character on her own father who, like Atticus Finch resided in Alabama practicing law and once represented black defendants in a famous criminal trial. .
Atticus' background in the story is mostly unknown, but in the book Scout says that he .
was the first of his family to leave their farm, "Finch's Landing" in order to study and work in law after being homeschooled. Between that and the events that take place in the actual story, we only know that he married, moved to Maycomb, fathered Jem and Scout and became a widower. Then, we see that in the small farmer town, Atticus is respected because of his intelligence, wisdom and exemplary behavior; acting as the moral backbone of Maycomb, Alabama. .
In the novel, Atticus demonstrates a very unique parenting style in that he treats his children as adults, honestly answering all of their questions and listening to their complaints and problems while trying to make them be reasonable and see those problems in a new light.
"'Do you really think so?' . . . was Atticus' dangerous question".
Yet for all the adult treatment of Jem and Scout, he never forgets that they are just kids and that they will make childish mistakes and assumptions. In irony, Atticus' biggest and practically only insecurity is in his parenting skills, although he often defends his ideas on raising children to those more experienced and traditional.
His stern but fair way of treating his children is the same way he acted in the courtroom defending Tom Robinson, as his friend Miss Maudie said in the book " 'Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.