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How does this quote apply today? "When a child asks you something, answer him, for...

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hkmags | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 16, 2013 at 4:51 PM via web

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How does this quote apply today? "When a child asks you something, answer him, for goodness sake. But don’t make a production of it. Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults and evasion simply muddles ‘em up." (To Kill a Mockingbird)

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 16, 2013 at 7:37 PM (Answer #1)

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Atticus practices what he preaches. One of the things he is adamant about is not hiding things from his children. In fact, he is so honest with them that it seems like he talks to Jem and Scout as if they were adults, even though he frames things in ways they can understand. While Atticus is discussing Maycomb's racism and the upcoming trial with Jack, Scout notices once again how Atticus wants his children to understand the truth of things: 

But I never figured out how Atticus knew I was listening, and it was not until many years later that I realized he wanted me to hear every word he said. 

This quote is as applicable, or even more, today because children have more access to information and are potentially more in tune to the world. This is not necessarily the case since many children use the Internet for games and social networking. But in general, kids are more connected and therefore more aware of culture and information. With so much good and bad information out there, it is imperative in this "information age" for the parent to be a reliable source of truth, someone the child can always go to for context and clarification. (This is something a parent should be in any era but it is certainly very applicable today.) Atticus plays this role of reliable parent perfectly. 


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