What are three morals that Atticus teaches Scout and Jem in Chapter 15 of To Kill a Mockingbird?
The children learn to do what you think is right even if it's hard, stand up for what you believe in, and stay calm in the face of danger.
In this chapter, Atticus shows his children the value of courage and strength. When Tom Robinson is threatened, Atticus stands up for him. He faces down the angry mob calmly.
Link Deas tries to convince Atticus that taking Tom Robinson’s case is not worth the risk. Atticus’s friends are worried about the Cunnhingham family, who might get drunk and try to string up Tom Robinson. Atticus does not budge. He tells the men who gather at his house that he is going to protect Tom Robinson.
“Link, that boy might go to the chair, but he’s not going till the truth’s told.”
Atticus’s voice was even. “And you know what the truth is.” (Ch. 15)
Atticus goes down and sits outside Tom Robinson’s cell with a lamp. He stays until the angry mob shows up, ready to lynch his client. The children sneak out to watch, because they know something is about to happen and it is odd that Atticus is sitting outside his client’s cell.
Atticus is completely calm facing the mob. They tell him that they have distracted Heck Tate with a “snipe hunt,” meaning some wild goose chase that was just engineered to get him out of the way. Atticus is not really concerned. The mob does not scare him.
“Thought about it, but didn’t believe it. Well then,” my father’s voice was still the same, “that changes things, doesn’t it?”
“It do,” another deep voice said. Its owner was a shadow.
“Do you really think so?” (Ch. 15)
When Atticus says, “Do you really think so?” Scout says that it means that he has the advantage over a person when the person thinks he has the advantage. The mob of Cunnhinghams thinks that Atticus is just one man, and that he has no backup. Atticus disagrees.
Before Atticus has to continue the standoff, Scout jumps into the crowd and strikes up a conversation with her friend Walter’s father. She does not really know what he is doing, but she seems inspired by her father’s example to not be afraid of the crowd and just join the conversation. Humbled by the presence of a little girl acting like everything is normal, they leave.
Jem and Scout both follow their father’s example of bravery and calm. Jem refuses to leave, even after the men threaten him. Scout kicks the man who threatens her brother. Jem does not back down, even when Atticus tells him to, and Scout talks to the men. Their father has shown them how to diffuse the situation, and in this case they really help.
From Atticus, the children learn that you stand up for what you believe in even if it is difficult or unpopular. Atticus felt that defending his client in court, and then protecting him from the mob, was the moral thing to do. His children were watching, and seeing their father stand up for his beliefs was very meaningful to them.