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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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