THINGS JEM & SCOUT LEARN IN CHAPTER 10
- Scout learns from Miss Maudie the deeper meaning of Atticus' prior rule that it is "a sin to kill a mockingbird."
- They learn that Atticus is the best checker player in town, even though he often lets Jem and Scout beat them when they play.
- They learn Atticus can play the Jew's Harp.
- They learn he is a crack marksman.
- They learn that his old nickname was "One-Shot" Finch when he was a child.
- They learn the definition of humility--the reason why Atticus never bragged about his shooting talent.
- Jem recognizes that "Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!"
One thing that Jem and Scout learn in Chapter 10 is how to shoot air rifles from their uncle, Jack. Later, Atticus tells them never to shoot mockingbirds with their rifles, and when Scout asks Miss Maudie why, Miss Maudie explains that mockingbirds are defenseless creatures that never hurt anyone. To hurt them is indefensible. Miss Maudie also tells Scout that Atticus is actually a great checkers player but allows Scout and Jem to win.
Scout and Jem think their father isn't capable of much, but then they learn that he is an excellent shot when he kills a dangerous rabid dog. They wonder why he never uses guns, and Miss Maudie explains that Atticus is too civilized to use a gun because he realizes that it would give him an unfair advantage over his prey. As a result, Jem realizes that "Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!" Scout and Jem learn that their father is quite humble about his many talents and that he is a decent and honorable man.