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In chapter ten of To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Scout consider Atticus to be...

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chiechiey | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted April 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM via web

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In chapter ten of To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Scout consider Atticus to be feeble?Does her view change at all?

Remember to use quotes from the novel to justify your answer.

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schulzie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted April 14, 2012 at 11:36 PM (Answer #1)

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Scout thinks Atticus is feeble because he is nearly fifty.  To her, a young girl of six, fifty is old.  She tells the reader,

"When Jem and I asked him why he as so old, he said he got started late, which we felt reflected upon his abilities and  manliness." (pg 89)

When Jem wanted to play football, Atticus was too tired and used his age as an excuse.

"Jem was football crazy.  Atticus was never too tired to play keep-away, but when Jem wanted to tackle him, Atticus would say,'I'm too old for that, son." (pg 89)

Atticus also couldn't see well out of his left eye and had to wear glasses.  That aged him in the children's eyes.  They also felt that he wasn't as interesting as the other fathers.

"He did not do things our classmate's fathers did: he never went hunting, he did not play poker or fish or drink or smoke.  He sat in the living room and read." (pg 89)

Scout went to Miss Maudie to see if her father had any redeeming qualities.  When Miss Maudie tells them that their father played a Jew's Harp, Scout thinks,

"This modest accomplishment served to make me more ashamed of him. (pg 91)

However, Scout loves Atticus, and she respects him.  She does change her mind, a little, as the book continues.  When Atticus was polite to Mrs. Dubose on their walks home, Scout says,

"He would tell her the courthouse news and would say he hoped with all his heart she'd have a good day tomorrow.....it was times like these when I thought my father, who hated guns and had never been to any war, was the bravest man who ever lived. " (pg 100)

When Atticus shot the mad dog, Scout and Jem were surprised to find out that their father was the best shot in Maycomb County.  Jem tells her not to say anything,but she responds with,

"What? I certainly am.  Ain't everybody's daddy the deadest shot in Maycomb County." ( pg 98)

Scout is young.  As she gets to know more and more about Atticus, she finds out that he is not as feeble as she thought.

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