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I don't think that I'm overstating that Atticus really is the book. Atticus is a character who personifies all that is good and just in people. Maycomb is a town in the South during the 1930's.Bigotry, intolerance and basic ignorance are the norm. It has been ingrained in the population for generations. When Tom Robinson, an obviously innocent man, is put on trial for rape, Atticus takes the job of defending him. Despite overwhelming disgust from the town Atticus is able to appeal to their hearts and minds; he is able to stir their conscience and sense of justice. In the end, even though their bigotry ends up getting the better of them, they all know the truth. Atticus is a man who leads by example. We can see Atticus in both his children. Scout and Jem are developing a similar sense of justice and honor as their father which makes us think that there is hope for humanity yet.