What is Walter Cunningham like ?
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The following is an excerpt from a study guide offered by eNotes forTo Kill a Mockingbirddescribing Walter Cunningham:
"Walter Cunningham. Sr., is a member of a poor family who "never took anything they couldn't pay back." A former client of Atticus's, he paid for legal service with goods such as firewood and hickory nuts. After Scout recognizes him in the potential lynch mob and speaks to him of his son. he leads the crowd away from violence. "
Mr. Cunningham is a man with some qualities similar to Atticus. He practices a high level of honesty both with others and himself. Cunningham never fails to pay back his debts in whatever means he can. He is also concerned about the values he is teaching to his children.
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Walter Cunningham is a man who is poor but proud. Though not having much money, he always makes sure to pay what he owes. A former client of Atticus Finch, Atticus describes him as someone who's too poor to pay off debts in money, but still finds a way to make sure he gets people what they are owed. As Jean Louise describes it: "The Cunninghams never took anything they can't pay back- no church baskets and no scrip stamps. They never took anything off of anybody, they get along on what they have. They don't have much, but they get along on it" (13).
Cunningham's committment to making sure he remains on good terms with others displays a sort of righteousness and honor code that he lives by. He shows a sense of character and this is later seen during the mob scene when the town's citizens attempt to attack Tom Robinson. Though originally with the mob, he is innocently questioned by Jean Louise about his life. The girl's kindness leaves an impression upon him, causing his anger to diminish, resulting in him telling the mob to leave.
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