To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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What is the fundamental difference in Atticus's and Alexandra's views?

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Hong Thomas eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The fundamental difference lies in how each views the residents of Maycomb. Atticus views each family, like the Cunninghams, as an essential part of Maycomb. Remember, early in the text he helps Mr. Cunningham with his "entailment." And Mr. Cunningham pays him as best he can - not with money but with fire wood and nuts. Central to Atticus's beliefs is the idea of crawling inside someone's skin and seeing the world from their point of view (he often tells Scout to do this). Because he has the ability to see the world through the eyes of Mr. Cunningham, Atticus can find something in him to respect (for example, Mr. Cunningham will not accept charity - nor will any of his children). Atticus wouldn't classify the Cunninghams as trash. They make the best of what they have. Notice how he makes...

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