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Atticus Finch is an observant character in multiple senses of the term, and he uses this keen ability most notably to solve problems. As a father, he often listens more than he talks and reveals his understanding of his children in unexpected ways. His parental lessons are always delivered in a way that cause his children to think. He very rarely loses his temper and shows that even though he is an older father, he is still in touch with his children and their feelings. In Chapter 9, he reveals this when he gives parenting advice to his brother:
Children are children, but they can spot an evasion quicker than adults, and evasion simply muddles 'em...you had the right answer this afternoon, but the wrong reasons. (87)
Atticus in not only observant in an emotional way. Later, in Chapter 10, Atticus shows that he is physically observant and always has been, evidenced by his nickname "One-shot Finch" (97). When a mad dog is coming down the street, Atticus surprises his children by shooting and killing it from quite a distance:
Atticus pushed his glasses to his forehead; they slipped down, and he dropped them in the street. In the silence, I heard them crack...The rifle cracked. Tim Johnson leaped, flopped over and crumpled on the sidewalk in a brown-and-white heap. He didn't know what hit him. (96)
Atticus is so observant, physically, that he does not even need his glasses to shoot and kill the dog. This symbolic chapter serves to demonstrate Atticus as a character who is observant both emotionally and physically. He is able to observe his children and respond to their needs on a level which they understand just as he is able to physically observe the danger approaching in the mad dog scene, and solve the problem in one-shot.
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