What do you think of the way Atticus treats Walter? Does Scout learn anything from Walter's visit? What do you think this is?  

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price7781 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus treats Walter Cunningham like he does everyone he meets, and that is with respect and dignity.  When Jem invites Walter over for lunch after Walter fights with Scout in the school yard because Scout tells the teacher Walter didn’t have any lunch, Atticus joins them at the dining room table and precedes to ask Walter questions about farming and crops.  These are subjects that Walter knows about since his father is a farmer.  Mr. Cunningham, Walter’s father, is also a client of Atticus’ and pays his legal fees with food and crops.  Atticus immediately puts Walter at ease with the conversation.  Attics treats Walter respectfully and engages Walter in conversation to show his desire to include Walter in the family meal.  Unfortunately, Scout makes fun of Walter when he pours syrup all over his lunch.  Walter is so poor that he probably doesn’t have something sugary like syrup at home.  After Walter leaves, Atticus teaches Scout the important lesson about trying to understand people by “walking around in their skin” to get to know about their experiences and lives.   

It is one of the first lessons Scout learns in the book, and we see her apply this knowledge during the trial when she empathizes with Mayella Ewell and her life. 

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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