Journal Article

Moral Integrity? Atticus Finch and the Cardinal Virtues

Amanda C. Osheim

in Literature and Theology

Volume 25, issue 2, pages 199-218
Published in print June 2011 | ISSN: 0269-1205
Published online April 2011 | e-ISSN: 1477-4623 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/litthe/frr004
Moral Integrity? Atticus Finch and the Cardinal Virtues

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Fifty years after its publication, To Kill a Mockingbird remains widely popular despite serious criticism of its moral limitations. In particular, Atticus Finch’s suitability as a role model has come into question. Nevertheless, for many Atticus is an attractive and inspirational figure. Examining Atticus’s narrative through virtue ethics provides a more nuanced understanding of his character that assists with discerning his adequacy as an exemplar. As he negotiates conflicting claims of justice, fidelity, and self-care, Atticus is at times a prudent person who demonstrates moral coherence in his relationships, though in significant ways he also fails to act with full integrity.

Journal Article.  9002 words. 

Subjects: Literature ; Religion and Art, Literature, and Music

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