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Going Back to School. After Scout's terrible first day in the first grade, she tries to convince Atticus to allow her to quit school. But Atticus will not hear of it. He tells her that she "must obey the law" and return the next day. But he makes a bargain with her.
"Do you know what a compromise is?" he asked.
"Bending the law?"
"No, an agreement reached by mutual concessions. It works this way," he said. "If you'll concede the necessity of going to school, we'll go on reading every night just as we always have. Is it a bargain?"
"Yes, sir!" (Chapter 3)
The Morphodite Snowman. When Atticus first got a look at the snowman built by Jem and Scout, he realized that it looked suspiciously like their neighbor, Mr. Avery. Atticus explained that he couldn't allow his children to "go around making caricatures of the neighbors."
"You've perpetrated a near libel here in the front yard. We've got to disguise this fellow."
Atticus suggested that Jem hone down his creation's front a little, swap a broom for the stovewood, and put an apron on him. (Chapter 8)
Defending Tom. Atticus had hoped never to have to accept a case like the one he faced in defending Tom Robinson, but he felt that he had no choice after Judge Taylor told him "You're It."
"But do you think I could face my children otherwise?... 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..." (Chapter 9)
But Atticus has other reasons to defend Tom. After he explains to Scout that there are many people in Maycomb who believe he should not give his best effort when the trial begins, Scout asks him why he's doing it.
"For a number of reasons," said Atticus. "The main one is, if I didn't I couldn't hold my head up in this town. I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't even tell you and Jem not to do something again." (Chapter 9)
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