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In "To Kill a Mockingbird", how does Atticus deal with Scout's question about whether...

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andrea2970 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 30, 2009 at 9:46 AM via web

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In "To Kill a Mockingbird", how does Atticus deal with Scout's question about whether she has to mind Jem?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted May 30, 2009 at 12:00 PM (Answer #1)

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In his usual kind, patient, logical manner, Atticus tells Scout that whether or not she has to mind Jem probably depends on whether he (Jem) can make her mind.  It's a classic Atticus response; although there is no question that the children will mind him, Calpurnia, Uncle Jack, and Aunt Alexandra, he really leaves it up to Scout and Jem to govern themselves in this matter.  It's an interesting approach that speaks to Atticus's parenting, and the way he has raised the children thus far; he can make this statement without worrying too terribly much that either child will cause a problem with this edict.  Jem is generally kind and protective of his sister, and Scout is generally cooperative when he asserts his leadership.

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