I need to know about Atticus' character as described in the first four chapters.

Expert Answers
missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In order for you to describe Atticus effectively, you need to look at some of his most significant quotes that Scout uses to describe him. She describes his job (pg. 4-5), his relationship to the society in short (pg. 5), and his relationship with his kids. As the book proceeds, we see more and more details that demonstrate Atticus raising his children with moral strength but in a detached way. Perhaps Lee does this because it is the case of most children with their parents. Here are some quotes to consider reviewing:

Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment. (6)

But there came a day when Atticus told us he’d wear us out if we made any noise in the yard. (12)

Atticus had said Jem would be delighted to show me where my room was. I think some money changed hands in this transaction, for as we trotted around the corner past the Radley Place I heard an unfamiliar jingle in Jem’s pockets. (16)

Atticus is a great teacher of his children. We see this as Caroline gets upset that Scout already reads and writes. We see this as on pages 22-23 Atticus explains how trade works during the depression.

Look at this lesson he teaches Scout in chapter 3's end:

“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.”

We can tell Scout has a respect for her father, but using his first name certainly demonstrates this courteous detachment between the kids and their father.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question