Describe Atticus Finch as a parent in "To Kill a Mockingbird?" How does he treat his children, and what kinds of things does he want to teach them?

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mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Atticus as a parent is an example of fairness who treats his children well as being able to understand unfairness, and teaches them beliefs or ideas to live by. Atticus talks to his children, trying to explain the adult world.  The children are truly children at the beginning, playing make-believe games with Boo Radley as the villain.  Because it is innocent, no one gets hurt and all is well in their world.  When their father becomes the lawyer for Tom Robinson, their world changes.  Now, the unfairness of their world to people of color begins to affect them.  They begin to see how their father is treated for standing up for Tom or the housekeeper even in the face of his sister's criticism.  The children understand their father's insistence about not judging people, being respectful of all people no matter what others do, and above all, to stand up for their beliefs.


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