Help with quote for To Kill a Mockingbird Who is speaking, who is the subject, what lessons are learned?  Atticus - "If I didn't, I couldn't hold up my head in town, I couldn't represent...

Help with quote for To Kill a Mockingbird

Who is speaking, who is the subject, what lessons are learned?

 

Atticus - "If I didn't, I couldn't hold up my head in town, I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again.

Asked on by treohs

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amarang9 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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Atticus is the voice of reason in the novel; unwavering reason. The majority of the town still harbors racist ideology passed on from previous generations, they look at Atticus as a moral authority. Some characters are either outright immoral or hypocriticalal. Some, like Tom Robinson and Atticus, provide moral example whether the town likes it or not. Atticus says this (the passage you quote) because he lives by example (a moral and just example); Someone else in the novel notes that Atticus behaves the same way in court as he does in his home; he is consistent in his life by example because it is the principle by which he lives which means he wants to live up to his own standards, but also he wants to represent justice for the town and his children. So, he must always act according to his conscience. Otherwise, he cannot live with himself or

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