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What is the relationship of Atticus with Tom Robinson, his children and Calpurnia in To...

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xxpoke007 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 25, 2011 at 4:54 AM via web

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What is the relationship of Atticus with Tom Robinson, his children and Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird?

 

What are the good things of him with those people and if possible please give quotes and page numbers.

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

Posted April 25, 2011 at 5:15 AM (Answer #1)

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ATTICUS' RELATIONSHIPS

Calpurnia.  Cal had been working for the Finch family for many years, presumably either before his wife's death or possibly beginning shortly thereafter. Atticus considers Cal a member of the family, and she serves as a motherly figure for both of the children. He stands up for Cal when Atticus' sister Alexandra tries to convince him to fire the housekeeper.

"... I couldn't have got along without her all these years. She's a faithful member of this family... We still need Cal as much as we ever did."

Jem & Scout.  Atticus is not a typical father. As a single parent, he spends a great deal of time with his children (at least as much as a busy lawyer and state legislator can), but he also gives them more independence than most children receive at their age. He trusts that the children will obey him and follow his role model as they get older. Both children come to admire Atticus even more strongly as the novel progresses, recognizing his lawyering skills, his humility, and the love that he garners from his neighbors.

"I just hope that Jem and Scout come to me for their answers instead of listening to the town. I hope they trust me enough..."

Tom Robinson.  Atticus did not want to undertake the defense of Tom Robinson. He knew defending a black man accused of raping a white woman would only bring trouble to him and his family. But he defended Tom with a furvor, and following the guilty verdict, he tried to convince Tom to keep the faith, since Atticus hoped that an appeal would free him. Atticus stood by at the jail alone against the lynch mob that had come for Tom, and following his death, Atticus went to tell Tom's wife the bad news himself.

"And so a quiet, humble respectable Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people's."

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