In chapter 13 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Scout teach Atticus?I cant find it anywhere in the chapter, and its part of the questions I have to do for my work.

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cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 13 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout Finch does not teach her father, Atticus, something such as a skill; she teaches her father a lesson about himself and others.  Atticus tries to point out to his children the importance of living up to their family name.  The presence of Aunt Alexandra in the their home has been a burden to the family, since she cares greatly about appearances, social standings, and family backgrounds.  When Atticus attempts to explain to Jem and Scout that they "must try to behave like the little lady and gentleman that [they] are," the children are shocked because they had previously been taught by their father to value those things that really matter, such as truth and knowledge. 

Scout becomes upset and her resulting conversation with her father causes him to realize that he was mistaken in trying to convince his children to place value on things that do not truly matter at all.

"Atticus, is all this behavin' an' stuff gonna make things different?  I mean are you--"

Adherence to behaviors dictated by stocial status were really just examples of cowardice and did nothing to better the lives of those who needed help, such as Tom Robinson; instead, they often served to blind people to the truth and to force them to act out of fear of persecution or ridicule.


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To Kill a Mockingbird

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