Atticus Finch is Scout and Jem’s father, a lawyer in Maycomb and a descendent of an old local family. Atticus has influenced his children with a strong sense of morality and justice. Having such excellent morals, it seems that he is one of the only residents of Maycomb against racial discrimination. When he is chosen to defend Tom Robinson, a negro man charged with raping a white woman, he immediately brings anger upon himself and his family from the white community. Atticus has a great sense of morals, values and empathy, and this means he could be described as the "moral backbone" of the novel.