To Kill A Mocking Bird Atticus Essay - Quincy High/ English 9 - Meal Essay

940 words - 4 pages

Ilkim Gumus
English 3
To Kill a Mockingbird
Parents back in the 1930s were very different from parents today. Atticus does not act
like a normal father. His parenting style is much more different than the other parents in the
1930s. At the beginning of the novel, Atticus is depicted as being a very disconnected father and
almost is more of a caretaker than a father figure in his children's eyes but as the story develops
Atticus’s different approaches to fathering become apparent. Atticus almost treated his children
like adults which was very unique for that time period. Through indirect characterization, Harper
Lee establishes that Atticus is infact a very intellectual and involved father in the novel ​To Kill a
As Atticus teaches his children he is very intellectually challenging and inspires them to
think for themselves. Jem and Scout are very smart for their ages because of this. Atticus teaches
Scout and Jem to look at the world through another persons’s eyes. This teaches them not to
judge people. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of
view- until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” By saying this Atticus was teaching
his children at a very young age to show sympathy and understanding for others even if at first
you don't understand what they are going through. Him teaching his children a lesson like that
shows that he is a very involved father even though physically he may not have been able to be
as physically involved with his children like the fathers of other children their age it proves that
he still cared about what type of people he was raising.
Atticus though at the beginning of the story may not have seemed like the kind of father
to be very courageous but, in truth, he is. Many times throughout the novel he shows this virtue.
Atticus first showed courage when he shot the rabid dog in one shot but sticking to his morals
and the good example father he wanted to be for his children he refused to allow his children to
believe that courage was such a trivial thing like that. When Atticus is talking to Jem about true
courage he is making an analogy about him taking the Tom Robinson case. “I wanted you to see
what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s
when you know you’re licked before you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”
When Atticus takes the Tom Robinson case he knows he will lose but he takes it anyway. This is
what he wants Scout to see as courage; to stand up and fight for what you truly believe in no
matter what others may have to say. It is also made apparent that the children see Atticus as a
role model when Atticus forbids Scout from fighting at school and she listens to him. By doing
this Scout is being courageous and is showing that she took what her father said to heart and
learned from it. Atticus teaches her that it takes more courage to walk away from a fight then to
fight, even if she gets called a coward. Atticus does this same thing when he doesn’t fight Bob
Ewell but he walks away instead. “Too proud to fight, you nigger-lovin’ bastard?” “No, too old,”
Atticus replied before putting his hands in his pockets and walking away. All of these examples
throughout the novel prove how Atticus is an involved parent because he is shown once again
teaching his children valuable life lessons in installing important morals into them that carve
them into the type of people they will be in the future.
Back in the 1930s, there was a lot of racism. Atticus is one of the few people in
Maycomb that isn’t racist. Racism was a big problem in Maycomb. Atticus didn’t want his
children to grow up to be like the rest of Maycomb. “You know what’s going to happen as well
as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray that I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and
most of all, without catching Maycomb’s usual disease.” He explains to them about the racism
problems and that they are bad. “As you grow older you’ll see white men cheat black men every
day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man
does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes
from, that white man is trash.” Through his dialogue, his beliefs become very apparent and are
shown yet again teaching his children what might be the most important lesson taught through
the whole book which is the importance of equality. This yet again proved how involved he
actually was shown in the way that he taught his children about these often hard-to-grasp
concepts at such a young age.
Altogether, Atticus is an exemplary father. He raised his children much differently than
other parents during the 1930s. His parenting style is even different from parents today. Though
at the beginning of the novel he is portrayed as a disconnected father who didn't do much for his
children through his dialogue it is made very apparent that he, in fact, cared greatly about his
children and what type of people they will grow into. Atticus intellectually challenged his
children, showed them how to be sympathetic, courageous, and taught them about equality.

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