In To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Atticus influence Scout's and Jem's lives?

Atticus influences Scout and Jem's lives by setting a positive example and explaining why he defends Tom Robinson. He also provides a positive influence by teaching Scout about empathy and by having Jem read to Mrs. Dubose after he destroys her flowers.

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Atticus is the ultimate role model to his children and teaches them many important life lessons throughout the novel that leave a lasting influence on Jem and Scout. After Scout's rough first day of school, Atticus teaches her the importance of exercising perspective and explains to her how to compromise. He also teaches Jem and Scout how to practice tolerance by not judging Mrs. Dubose or Mr. Cunningham. Regardless of the criticism Atticus receives for defending Tom Robinson, he encourages his children to act politely and respect their neighbors.

Both Jem and Scout look up to Atticus and try their best to follow in his footsteps. For example, Scout manages to control her temper and keep her fists down while Jem learns to behave like a gentleman by not bragging about his father's special talents. Atticus's children also learn the definition of "real courage" from their interactions with Mrs. Dubose and understand the value of following their conscience.

Jem and Scout are also influenced to treat people fairly and promote racial equality. By defending a Black man in front of a racist jury, Atticus champions racial equality by challenging Maycomb's prejudiced justice system. Having a father who supports racial equality influences Jem and Scout to avoid catching Maycomb's "usual disease." They also learn to sympathize with Boo Radley and protect vulnerable individuals.

Atticus's courageous efforts defending Tom Robinson influence Jem and Scout to view their community from a different lens. They both lose their innocence and become aware of the town's hypocrisy. While Jem has a difficult time coping with the reality of Maycomb's racist culture, Scout gains insight into her community and begins to question everything. By the end of the story, Atticus has influenced his children to support racial equality, exercise tolerance, and stand up for what is right, regardless of the situation.

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I would argue that Atticus is a positive influence on Scout and Jem's lives in various ways.

Atticus is a parent who believes in quality time with his children, and he spends time with Scout in the evenings. Over time, he influences her life by teaching her to be empathetic and to respect people for who they are. He does this by explaining to her that she will "never really understand a person until [she considers] things from his point of view." This comment is made in reference to Scout's schoolteacher, who is new and unaccustomed to the ways of Maycomb's children.

Soon after this, Atticus once again proves himself to be a positive influence in Scout's life by explaining to her what a compromise is and reaching a deal in which Scout will continue going to school and the two of them will continue reading together every evening.

In chapter 9, Atticus is a positive influence when he explains to Scout why he is defending Tom Robinson. The fact that Atticus is a man of principle and a positive influence is reinforced when he tells Scout that if he did not defend this wrongfully accused man, he would never be able to tell her or Jem "not to do something again."

I would argue that the most powerful example of Atticus influencing Jem's life is when he orders Jem to spend time reading to Mrs. Dubose after he destroys her camellia bushes. Despite the fact that the cantankerous old lady has insulted his father and sister and makes negative comments while he reads to her, he sticks it out, and Atticus's influence shines through once again.

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Atticus has a tremendous influence on his children's lives. Throughout the novel, Atticus teaches Jem and Scout the importance of courage, integrity, perspective, and justice. He not only gives his children valuable insight into the community of Maycomb, but he also encourages them to become morally upright individuals. Atticus leads by example and courageously defends a black man in front of a prejudiced community while simultaneously remaining tolerant towards his racist neighbors. Atticus' actions and lessons impact Jem and Scout's perspective and behavior. Scout learns how to perceive situations from other people's point of view and how to control her anger. Atticus teaches them the importance of protecting innocent beings and following their conscience even when it's considered unpopular. Jem and Scout also gain insight into the duality of human nature and learn what 'real courage' is through their experiences with Mrs. Dubose. Atticus also takes his time explaining certain aspects of the justice system to his children. Atticus is always honest with his children, and they look to him for answers. Jem and Scout are positively influenced by their father and grow up to be tolerant, independent, morally upright individuals.

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Atticus influences his children's lives every day through his words, but more significantly, through his actions and the example he sets for them. His primary influence is observed in how he shapes their characters. Atticus guides Scout and Jem as they adopt the values that will define them as adults.

Through his defense of Tom Robinson, as well as his direct statements, Atticus counteracts the hateful, destructive racism that surrounds Jem and Scout in Maycomb. Through his influence, the children are not "infected" with racist attitudes. Atticus works hard to make certain that Jem and Scout escape this social disease.

Atticus also influences Jem and Scout in developing in them a respect for life and the rejection of cruelty. When he teaches Jem to not kill mockingbirds, the lesson is deeper than it might appear, and it takes hold in both his children. Scout clearly understands it, as evidenced by her protective attitude toward Boo Radley in the novel's conclusion.

Finally, Atticus influences his children in their sense of basic justice and their respect for it. Tom's conviction hurts Jem deeply because he understands, and rejects, its injustice. Tom's death affects Scout deeply for the same reason. Both children have come to recognize the difference between what is just and what is cruelly unjust, and they reject injustice.

 

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