The best day ever

Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Father, Harper Lee, Corporal punishment, Atticus Finch, Spanking / Pages: 2 (462 words) / Published: Apr 22nd, 2014
user profile pic mileeey | eNotes Newbie
Posted October 6, 2013 at 1:38 AM via web dislike1like Although Atticus is a stern disciplinarian, the children are essentially happy about his discipline in To Kill a Mockingbird. Why?

Tagged with atticus, jem, literature, scout, to kill a mockingbird
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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator
Posted October 30, 2013 at 6:11 PM (Answer #1) dislike1like It is obvious that Jem and Scout have a special relationship with their father: They call him by his first name, Atticus--an unusual way for young children of any era to address a parent. Scout does not miss her mother--she died soon after Scout was born--and Jem barely remembers her, so Atticus serves as both mom and dad. Atticus believes in giving the children as much independence as possible, and they have a liberal run of the immediate neighborhood. But Atticus has ways of keeping an eye on their activities, and he surprises them more than once when he uncovers their supposed secrets (such as the Radley Game and the children's raid on the Radleys' back porch). The children are aware of Atticus's all-seeing powers and, combined with his lawyering skill of getting to the truth of the matter, they are wary of taking advantage of him. When Jem returns to the collard patch to retrieve his lost pants, he does so because he doesn't want Atticus to catch him in a lie.

"I--it's like this, Scout... Atticus ain't ever whipped me since I can remember. I wanta keep it that way." (Chapter 6)

Although the children often worry about Atticus giving them a "lickin'," Atticus doesn't resort to corporal punishment with his children. When Scout decides not to fight Cecil Jacobs at Christmastime, it is not out of fear of a spanking.

Somehow, if I fought Cecil I would let Atticus down. Atticus so rarely asked Jem and me to do something for him... (Chapter 9)

There are times when the children think

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