In chapter 11, Scout offers a vivid description of her racist, confrontational neighbor Mrs. Dubose, who would sit on her porch and make derogatory remarks to her and Jem whenever they would walk past her home. Mrs. Dubose would unapologetically call Scout and her brother disrespectful mutts and continually criticize their father. Scout mentions that numerous evenings Jem would come home furious about something Mrs. Dubose had said. Whenever Jem came home angry, Atticus would advise him to relax and exercise empathy towards her. Atticus would tell Jem,
Easy does it, son . . . She’s an old lady and she’s ill. You just hold your head high and be a gentleman. Whatever she says to you, it’s your job not to let her make you mad. (Lee, 103)
Atticus not only advises his son to control his temper and act like a gentleman, but he also models ideal behavior by keeping his composure during his interactions with Mrs. Dubose. Despite her derogatory, hateful comments, Atticus would stop in front of her home and say, "Good evening, Mrs. Dubose! You look like a picture this evening" (Lee, 104). Despite Atticus's advice, Jem ends up losing his temper and destroying her camellia bush after she offensively says, "Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for!" (Lee, 105).