To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird book cover
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In To Kill a Mockingbird, does Scout apply or reject Atticus' definition of compromise ,and what are examples of her obedience or defiance to him?

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In chapter 3, Atticus sets up a compromise with Scout about reading.  The teacher (Miss Caroline) does not want a parent to teach Scout; however, since Scout enjoys reading with her father every night, Atticus says they can still read if she keeps going to school every day.  That was his way of getting Scout to go without a fuss each day.  She does keep going, and they do read (without Miss Caroline's knowledge) each night together.  So she does keep her end of the compromise .

Another compromise has to do with her fighting.  She is so quick to fight when her pride is at stake that she ends up in many fist fights.  Knowing that the trial is getting closer, and ugly words in town will be arriving with the trial, Atticus tells Scout to hold her "head high and keep those fists down." He didn't want her fighting anymore.  She is tested the very next day when Cecil Jacobs calls Atticus names.  However, she walks away remembering Atticus' words. 

Scout doesn't obey her father though when Christmas came around.  Her snotty cousin Francis calls Atticus names just as Cecil did.  This time, after egging her on, Francis takes the name calling too far and Scout punches him.  So for the most part, she obeys--but when it comes to family saying things like that, Scout looses her control and defies her father.

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