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What is significant about Atticus's saying "Call Dr. Reynolds!" in To Kill a...

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joelamos | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted February 26, 2012 at 12:04 PM via web

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What is significant about Atticus's saying "Call Dr. Reynolds!" in To Kill a Mockingbird?

What is significant about Atticus's first order in Chapter 28 after the attack on his children, "Call Dr. Reynolds!" ? (think of how the book is written, not the events of the plot)

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 26, 2012 at 3:35 PM (Answer #1)

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In Chapter 28 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus does not ask Boo Radley what he is doing with Jem in his arms, he does not inquire who has hurt his boy, he does not ask what happened; he shouts, "Call Dr. Reynolds!" then he asks, "Where's Scout?" Again, Atticus proves himself first and foremost a father.

In Chapter 3, after the first day of school for the children, Atticus calls to Scout to read the evening paper with him; however, Scout has had too stressful a day to resume routine. Instead, she asks Atticus if she could not go to school anymore. Her father counsels her that if she will see things from the other person's perspective, she will "get along better with all kinds of folks."

"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view--until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.

When Jem and Scout are attacked, Atticus Finch thinks first of his children; then, he worries about other matters after he comes out of their "skins." For, he understands quickly that Jem has been injured and Scout and he have been terrorized. This is what is paramount. When he emerges from Jem's room after Aunt Alexandra has called Dr. Reynolds, Atticus phones the sheriff. His words clearly indicate his sense of parenthood:

"...Someone's been after my children. Jem's hurt. Between her and the schoolhouse. I can't leave my boy...."

When he hangs up the phone, Atticus Finch, loving father, returns to Jem's room.

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