Atticus is one of the best citizens of Maycomb, mainly because he is such a big role-model towards everyone. While Atticus sets a great example for everybody in Maycomb, he appears to have the biggest influence on Scout, Jem, and the rest of the Maycomb community. First, Scout is a young impressionable girl without a mother and needs as much guidance as possible with everyday lessons in life. Second, Atticus teaches Jem important morals and values. Lastly, Atticus looks past a mans skin color and what society thought and still proceeds to defend a black man.
Scout is a curious, young, impressionable girl without a mother figure to look up to and needs Atticus more than anybody. When Atticus explains to his daughter Scout that he would be defending Tom Robinson, Scout asks her father “ Why are you defending a black man?”. Atticus replies with a direct answer; “For a number of reasons. The main one being is if I didn’t I couldn’t hold my head up in this town, I couldn’t represent this country in legislature, I couldn’t even tell you or Jem not to do something again.” (pg. 81). This shows Atticus to be a man with strong morals, and a great father to teach Scout important values at her impressionable age. Another example of this would be when Atticus makes Scout read to Ms. Dubose as a way of apologizing for damaging her flowers. This also teaches Scout true bravery, and the golden rule (treat everyone how you would like to be treated).
Atticus also teaches Jem how to be polite, treat everybody equally, selfless, and well-mannered. When Mr. Ewell spits in Atticus’ face in front of both Jem and Scout in the court-room for defending a black man (Tom Robinson) instead of engaging in a fist-fight like Mr. Ewell would have done, Atticus walks away and is respectful towards Mr. Ewell. This teaches Jem to treat everyone the way you would like to be treated and to stand up for what you believe in despite public opinion.