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What is Walter Cunningham like?

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japhoo | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 12, 2009 at 2:51 AM via web

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What is Walter Cunningham like?

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slchanmo1885 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted January 12, 2009 at 3:00 AM (Answer #1)

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Walter Cunningham is a man who is poor but always tried to pay back Atticus for being his lawyer. Even though Walter Cunningham couldn't afford legal services, Atticus still helped him out and Cunningham paid him in firewood and hickory nuts. His son, also named Walter, is a classmate of Scout's who is very proud. The Cunninghams may be poor, but they aren't the type to take charity. When the mob is gathering and it looks like it might turn into a lynching, Scout recognizes him and speaks to him about his son and about her father's work. This shames him, and in return, he talks the men out of being violent and gets everyone to leave.

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engtchr5 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted January 12, 2009 at 3:06 AM (Answer #2)

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Walter Cunningham (the father) is one of the poorest men in town. His son, who dines with the Finches, has poor manners, and appears to be unschooled in the social graces as a result of their poverty. For instance, Scout recoils in shock when Walter (the son) decides to put molasses on his dinner of meat and vegetables. Calpurnia gives her a stern lecture about honoring guests as a result.

The Cunningham family, while poor, is still proud. That is, they refuse charity from those who offer it as illustrated in Scout's classroom. The teacher tries to give Walter a quarter for his lunch, and he won't accept it.

Mr. Cunningham is instrumental later in the novel in breaking up a lynch mob outside the county jail when Scout appeals to his sense of humanity by recalling her visits with his son, among other things.

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zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 31, 2014 at 9:57 PM (Answer #5)

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He is a poor man who tries to pay Atticus back for being a lawyer. Although they are quite poor, Walter does not want to accept charity. His son is in Scout's class and they call him over one day. When Scout sees Walter, she asks how his son is during the time they are within the mob. He realizes his mistake and makes the crowd go home. 

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latishabrown | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 1, 2011 at 11:24 AM (Answer #3)

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WalterCinnungham is a poor man, who uses Atticus Finch for leagal reasons. Atticus, doesn't care about the funds, he just wantes to help Walter out.

Although the Cunninghams are poor, they still have pride.

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lacibabyy00 | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 2) Honors

Posted February 6, 2009 at 6:54 AM (Answer #4)

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Cunningham is a very poor man who wants to try and pay atticus back for being his lawyer.

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