In "To Kill A Mockingbird", what are many examples of Atticus giving moral direction, in the first three chapters?

Expert Answers
mrs-campbell eNotes educator| Certified Educator

1.  Near the end of chapter two, Scout is explaining how Atticus had told her about the Cunninghams, and how they were poor, but worked hard to pay people.  He is giving Scout a moral lesson on how being poor isn't bad, if you are still doing all that you can to better your circumstances.  He says of the Cunninghams, "they simply paid us with what they had."  His lesson sticks with Scout, and she later defends Walter Cunningham in front of the entire class, telling Miss Caroline, "You're shamin' him" by asking about his lunch.

2.  In chapter three Atticus tells Scout, it is hard to understand people "until you consider things from their point of view" and proceeds to tell her to be more patient with her teacher, Miss Caroline.  Put yourself in her shoes, and realize that she will take a while to "learn all Maycomb's ways".

3.  In chapter three Atticus tells Scout that she "must obey the law" and go to school.

4.  In chapter three Atticus explains to Scout that the Ewell's are allowed certain leniencies with the law, so that they can survive.  They allow Bob to "hunt and trap out of season" so that he can actually have food to feed his children, since he spends all of his money on whiskey.  He teaches her that even though Bob is bum, his children shouldn't have to suffer for it.

I hope that those examples help; I encourage you to read those chapter through if you haven't already.  It's a great book!

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question