How did the Atticus's actions/decisions influence Scout and Jem's actions/decisions in the book To Kill a Mockingbird?

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lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is a great role model for his children. He is open minded. He is more than tolerant of people. He is openly accepting of people, regardelss their race or class. Atticus teaches his children to not judge other people:

"'First of all,' he said, '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.'" Page 30

That is the kind of man Atticus is. He believes you can never judge until you have experienced what another person feels. This is what he teaches his children.

Atticus does the right thing in defending Tom Robinson. He even proves that Tom Robinson is not gulity of assaulting Mayella Ewell. When Mr. Ewell spits on Atticus, Atticus walks away and does not make a confrontation with an ignorant man.

No doubt, Jem and Scout learn to be better people from the example that their father puts forth. Atticus is indeed an honorable man. He has integrity and dignity yet he does not put on a front that he is better than others:

Atticus Finch, Scout's widowed father, is a member of one of Maycomb County's oldest and most prominent families. Nevertheless, he refuses to use his background as an excuse to hold himself above others and instead is a model of tolerance and understanding.

Atticus' children see the world through their father's eyes. They learn to be fair to all people. Atticus even teaches his children to respect the cantankerous Mrs. Dubose. Atticus slights no one. He is fair to all. He is a fine representation of a human being who is honest and admirable in all his qualities.

Although many people do not share Atticus' open minded attitude, they still respect his honesty:

Atticus is a lawyer and also a member of the state legislature, elected by townspeople who respect his honesty even if they don't always approve of his actions.

Atticus is a great father. He teaches his children to do the right thing always:

As a father Atticus is affectionate with Jem and Scout, ready with a hug when they need comfort and available to spend time reading to them. Although he allows his children freedom to play and explore, he is also a firm disciplinarian, always teaching his children to think of how their actions affect others and devising punishments to teach his children valuable lessons.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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