Our parents have the greatest influence on us as kids. They guide us through life when we are unable to help ourselves. They teach us, from their experience, the difference of right and wrong, life lessons, and help us become independent. They teach us all of their wisdom in hope of helping us lead the best possible lives. In To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus is a lawyer and the single father of scout and Jem Finch. They believe he is a decent father, but he is much older than everyone else's parents. Atticus tries his best to teach them all about the world but he only has his view to teach from. They lack a mother figure until Aunt Alexandra comes to live with them. Atticus tries his best to keep them out of his own problems when he tries to defend an African American in a court case. This book is set in the 1930's in a town where no African American has ever won a case before. Atticus teaches Jem and Scout the best he can, while dealing with his own disputes, by letting them experience the troubles of society first-hand. He teaches them the equality of all human beings, to see events from other peoples points of view, and be brave when you know you'll lose.
The greatest lesson that Atticus teaches his kids is how to understand the people around them. Atticus repeatedly tells Scout to look at events from other peoples point of view to understand their actions. When Miss Caroline mistakenly offers a quarter to a Cunningham, Atticus tells Scout, "If you learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view" (39). He explains to Scout that Miss Caroline didn't know the history of the town or the people in it. She was neither right nor wrong in her actions; she was just misinformed about the Cunninghams and didn't know any better . Miss Caroline also tells Scout not to read anymore because it is you aren't supposed to in first grade....
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