Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird can be read as a story about parenting. Lee draws the character of Atticus Finch in such an endearing manner as to make him as memorable as the first person narrator, Scout Finch.
It is Atticus’s parenting style that makes him such a rich character. He seems to treat his young children almost as equals, while imbuing them with his own particular brand of open-mindedness and sensitivity. Scout learns very much as a young girl over the course of the story, and most of that knowledge is gained from her father Atticus.
When Scout, Jem, and Dill play an imaginative game called Boo Radley, Atticus’ methods are shown in an understated manner. When he discovers the children playing the game, this is all that happens:
“Does this by any chance have anything to do with the Radleys? I hope it doesn’t,” he [Atticus] said shortly, and went inside the house.
That’s it. But he knows that the game does, in fact, involved the Radleys. However, instead of being overbearing, he gets the kids to think out the situation and then decide, for themselves, to stop playing the disrespectful game.
The resulting question that readers might ask themselves is, “Would this really work?” Can children be disciplined and influenced in such a “hands off” manner?