In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Atticus teach Scout about tolerance and patience?  

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus first teaches Scout about tolerance and patience by his perfect example. In every aspect of his life, whether he knows Scout is looking or not, he respects everyone, even if they trample all over his name and disrespect him. It almost seems as if nothing can phase Atticus or get him frustrated because he never loses his temper or self-control. Some of the best advice Atticus gives Scout regarding tolerance and patience is found in Chapter Three, when Scout has a run in with classmates and her teacher on the first day of school. 

"First of all, . . . if you can learn a simple trick, Scout, you'll get along a lot better with all kinds of folks. You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it" (30).

This little speech is something Scout remembers throughout the book as she tries to understand people when their behavior seems questionable. This helps her mostly with tolerance at first, but if she can understand someone from his or her perspective, first, it will also grant her patience. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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