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Unlike many father-daughter relationships of this era, Atticus is not the doting, girl-spoiling daddy figure that many men were during this time frame. He treats Scout with objective discipline and structure, just as he treats Jem, her brother. It is apparent that he loves her, but he is certain not to condescend to her or to treat her differently just because of her gender. Such was not the case with most men of the depression era. Atticus is primarily concerned with his children's edification for success in life and culture, and this holds true with Scout especially. Atticus reads the newspaper to her each evening, allowing her to read along, and this practice lands Scout in some disconcerting circumstances when she goes to school and is told that Atticus is "teaching her wrong." This evening reading is a prime example of the loving yet intellectual upbringing that Atticus is giving Scout.
Probably the most obvious aspect of the unusual relationship between Scout and Atticus in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird is the first-name basis she has with her father. Of course, Jem also calls him by his first name, so this bond is not unique to Scout alone. Atticus gives both of his children an unusual amount of independence for such a young age. Both of the children are allowed to speak their minds; they ask questions that many parents would refuse to answer honestly. They also curse occasionally, although Atticus often cautions them when it is excessive (for example, when Scout uses the world "nigger," Atticus explains that it is "common" speech). Atticus treats both of his children fairly and evenly, but perhaps Scout's one unique link to her father comes when she sits in his lap each evening while he reads to her.
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