What is an example of Atticus's prudence in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Expert Answers
litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prudence refers to making reasonable and wise decisions.  Atticus is very prudent in many of the decisions he makes.  He carefully weighs his options and chooses wisely almost every time.

One example of a prudent decision Atticus made was to take Tom Robinson’s case.  On the outset, this may not seem like the best decision.  However, Atticus had some good reasons for making it.

First, Atticus was selected to defend Tom Robinson by Judge Taylor.  He trusted and respected Judge Taylor’s decision.  He understood that Judge Taylor chose him because he was one of the few people in Maycomb that would actually attempt to defend Tom Robinson.  Atticus says he has a number of reasons for choosing to defend Tom.

"The main one is, if I didn't I couldn't hold up my head in town, I couldn't represent this county in the legislature, I couldn't even tell you or Jem not to do something again." (ch 9)

Atticus defends Tom Robinson because he believes he would be letting everyone down if he didn’t.  He would be a hypocrite, and he cannot allow this.  So he defends Tom to the best of his ability, even though he knows that his children will be teased.  This is a prudent decision because Atticus remains the moral center of the community.

Now, can you find other examples of Atticus making wise and prudent decisions?


Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question