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Is Atticus a good father or not? In the novel

By EssaySwap Contributor Feb 01, 2008 1009 Words
Is Atticus a good father or not? In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus is trying to be a good father as much as he can to Scout and Jem. He never brags about his abilities. Atticus Finch only wants to be a good father as well as a lawyer. He is loving and caring, tells his kids what is the difference between good and wrong, and teaches them about peoples rights.

Atticus as a parent is teaching Scout and Jem of fundamental values. He tries hardest to pass on to his children his way of thinking for justice and equality. Atticus worries that his children see too many racism and injustice, he tries to show Jem and Scout that all people are created equal and makes sure that they think the same way he thinks not like most of the Maycomb people. "'Why reasonable people go stark raving mad when anything involving a Negro comes up, is something I don't pretend to understand…I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough.'" (88) Atticus wants his children to respect all people, and to be racists between colored people and them. When Scout asks if he is a "nigger lover" as a lot of the kids say in school. Atticus responds, "'I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody…'" (108) This shows that Atticus is not like the other people in Maycomb he tries to see every human as equal to the others. To show his belief in justice and peoples right, Atticus decides to accept the Tom Robinson case. He tells Uncle Jack why he accepted the case, "Judge Taylor pointed at me and said, 'You're It.' …But do you think I could face my children otherwise?" (88) Here, Atticus shows the reader his priorities as a parent. Knowing what is going to happen when defending a black man, Atticus accepts the case to prove his point to Jem and Scout. Defending Tom Robinson Atticus sends a message of what courage really is. Upon learning that Atticus will likely lose the Tom Robinson case in court, Scout wonders why, then, Atticus had taken the case. His response perfectly is, "'simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.'" (76) Atticus is trying to show Scout that she should not to fear failing and that this should never influence her decisions.

Atticus wants Scout and Jem to be good people, so that they are able to tell the difference between what is right and wrong. We can see this when Atticus finds that Scout is involved in several fights in school. He tells her "'...just hold your head high and keep those fists down. Try fighting with your head for a change...'" (80) Atticus wants to show his kids that there are other ways to decide the problem except with fighting. There are other situations where Atticus tries to teach Jem and Scout the meaning of courage. He keeps secret his past, and the nickname "One-Shot Finch." He does so because he, "wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand." (116) This shows that Atticus hides his past from his children in the hope they will, unlike most of Maycomb, think of bravery in a moral sense. As the novel goes on, we see how this method of parenting proves successful. Atticus liked shooting when he was the age of Jem and Scout. When they got their own guns he tells his kids, " It's a sin to kill a mockingbird…they do only good to us."(98) Atticus has a short talk with Scout about going to school and that going to school is the right thing to do if u don't want to end up homeless.

Atticus is a loving and caring father that tries to be as understanding as possible and help his kids as much as he can. He does not have a lot of time because he is doing a lawyers job that requires a lot of his time, so he does not have a lot of time to spend with Jem and Scout. Atticus and Scout read the newspaper every night. Even after the Scout's teacher forbids her to read with her father because he is teaching her wrong. So Atticus and Scout make an agreement between them that they will keep reading but only if she keeps going to school. This is quality time that they can sped together and talk about Scout problems. Atticus tries to make his kids life as enjoyable as possible. His love and concern about his kids is show when Atticus finds out that some people from town are going to come try to beat Tom Robinson up. Jem, Scout and Dill suddenly appear from nowhere in front of the counties jail where Tom Robinson is kept and drunk people surround Atticus. He is not a bit worried that the drunk people are going to hurt him but when his kids arrive he starts worrying that they might try to hurt the kids. Atticus orders them to leave but they refuse because they do not want something to happen to their father. At this moment the people start going back to their cars. This is another example of Atticus's love to his children.

Atticus is a successful father because he shows the differences in this world and Jem and Scout understand it. He passes to his kid his own traits. Atticus tries to show the differences, equalities, and morals between people, poor people and colored people that no one believes. Atticus Finch tries to teach his kids the difference between right and wrong in this complex world. He tries to be as understandable as possible and to spend as much time with his kids. Atticus Finch makes a very good father for Scout and Jem.

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