To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Atticus's dealings with different characters bring out different aspects of his own character?

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Atticus rarely shows changes in temperament or character during the course of the novel. As Miss Maudie tells Scout,

Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.”

Aside from his children, Atticus treats everyone equally. There are times, however, when the reader receives a different glimpse at his inner side. Miss Maudie tends to bring out his humorous side; he has a bit of fun with her when he discovers Scout aiming at Maudie's "generous" backside. Their neighbor retorts that Atticus is "a devil from hell." Atticus reverts to his most charming self when dealing with the cantankerous Mrs. Dubose, sweeping off his hat to "wave gallantly" followed by an exaggerated compliment. He has his arguments with sister Alexandra because they disagree on so many family matters. With his own children, Atticus shows even more patience and compassion than usual, alternating between firm but quiet guidance and tender compassion.

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In his treatment of others, Atticus reveals his...

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