What are three examples where Atticus is a good example to Jem in the book To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Atticus is a good example to Jem because he is a courageous man who stands up for what he believes in.

First, Atticus is a good example to Jem because he treats people well.  He treats all women like ladies, and acts like a gentleman.  For example, he treats Mrs. Dubose with respect.  When Jem complains that Mrs. Dubose is mean, Atticus tells him he still needs to be nice to her.

“She's an old lady and she's ill. You just hold your head high and be a gentleman. Whatever she says to you, it's your job not to let her make you mad." (ch 11)

Atticus also always compliments Mrs. Dubose, and he makes Jem go and read to her as she asks when he ruins her flowers. Atticus tells Jem that Mrs. Dubose demonstrates real courage.

Another example of when Atticus is a good role model to Jem is when he has Jem walk Scout to school. 

Jem condescended to take me to school the first day, a job usually done by one's parents, but Atticus had said Jem would be delighted to show me where my room was. (ch 2)

Atticus understands the importance of siblings.  He wants Scout and Jem to have a good relationship with one another.  He believes that Jem should learn to look out for Scout.

Finally, Atticus sets a good example for Jem by how he reacts to the trial.  Jem is very upset when Tom Robinson is convicted, because Jem knows everyone has to realize the man could not possibly have committed the crime.  However, Atticus understands that he put some cracks in the wall of racism.

"I don't know, but they did it. They've done it before and they did it tonight and they'll do it again and when they do it- seems that only children weep.” (ch 22)

Atticus is realistic with Jem.  He tells it like it is.  He does not sugar coat what happened, or give Jem unrealistic expectations of the appeal process.  He also gives Jem a good model to follow on how to act when you’re disappointed, or when you lose.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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