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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is a morally upright individual who shares numerous life lessons with his daughter, Scout, throughout the novel. There are several significant rules that Atticus lives by which could be considered "Golden." In my opinion, Atticus' "Golden Rule" is, follow your conscience and do the right thing, even if it means disagreeing with other people. In Chapter 11, Atticus has a conversation with Scout, and she tells him that he must be wrong for defending Tom Robinson because the entire community disagrees with him. Atticus says, "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience" (Lee 140). Atticus is essentially telling his daughter that despite what others say about him, the most important thing is to follow his conscience. Atticus believes in justice and equality, which is why he chooses to defend Tom. Maycomb's prejudiced community opposes Atticus' decision simply because Tom Robinson is an African American. Atticus goes on to tell Scout that he couldn't live with himself if he didn't try his best to prove that Tom is innocent. Scout learns from Atticus to be true to herself and to always do the right thing, even if it means disagreeing with popular opinions.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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