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Scout is ashamed of Atticus. List his faults as she sees them.I don't understand the...
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High School Teacher
Because Atticus is older than most of the fathers of the children at her school, young Scout feels that her father doesn't quite match up. However, it doesn't take long for Scout to figure out that her father has few equals in Maycomb.
... there was nothing Jem or I could say about him when our classmates said, "My father--"
Atticus is too old--
Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty... He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries...
Jem was football crazy... when Jem wanted to tackle him Atticus would say, "I'm too old for that, son."
"Our father didn't do anything." He "did not drive a dump-truck"... he isn't the sheriff or a farmer or a mechanic. He doesn't hunt or "play poker or fish or drink or smoke." He also wears glasses. To Scout, Atticus isn't exciting or flashy like some of her friends' fathers seem to be.
But Scout eventually learns that there is life in ol' Atticus yet. Miss Maudie explains that "he's the best checker player in the town... (and) he can play a Jew's harp." He can also "make somebody's will so airtight can't anybody meddle with it." These skills don't impress Scout, but later in the chapter, she and Jem discover that Atticus has a secret alter-ego: as "the deadest shot in Maycomb County, in his time," he was known as "One-Shot" Finch.
Jem and Scout can't understand why their father has never told them about this skill, but Miss Maudie explains that talented people never need to brag about their skills. Jem's mind is changed.
"... I wouldn't care if Atticus couldn't do a blessed thing... Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!"
Posted by bullgatortail on December 9, 2009 at 7:23 AM (Answer #1)
Middle School Teacher
Scout and Jem find Atticus to be way too old to be of any use to them, since he's nearly fifty, which in their mind registers him as feeble. He's quite a bit older than most of the fathers of the children he knows, having had children later in life. He doesn't hunt, fish, or play poker--all he does is work in an office and read in the evenings. When Atticus kills a rabid dog with a single shot, their impression of their father changes enormously; they learn from Miss Maudie that he was once called "One-Shot Finch" and that he was one of the best shooters in the county when he was young.
Posted by lhc on December 9, 2009 at 7:25 AM (Answer #2)
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