Describe Scout's and Jem’s relationship with their father in To Kill a Mockingbird? Use examples from the novel to back your answer up.  

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Jem and Scout look to Atticus as both a friend and father. The fact that they call him "Atticus" (rather than "Daddy" or "Father") shows the unusual nature of their relationship. Atticus does his best to serve as the perfect role model for his children, and he accomplishes this with great results. Jem wants to follow in his father's footsteps as an attorney, and both of the children go to Atticus when they need their problems solved. (Author Harper Lee, too, went to law school, just as her own father, a lawyer, did.) Although the children keep a few secrets from their father as all kids do, they both know that Atticus wants only what's best for them, and his wise words of wisdom are not lost on them. Atticus has warned Scout about fighting, and when Cecil Jacobs calls her a "cow--ward!" and insults Atticus, Scout remembers the promise she has made to her father.

Atticus so rarely asked Jem and me to do something for him, I could take being called a coward for him.

Both of the children are happily surprised with Atticus's hidden marksmanship skills, but Jem is even more impressed with Atticus's humility about his talent. He wants to be just like his father.

"Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!"


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