What were Atticus's shortcomings in the eyes of his children in Chapter 10 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Chapter 10 opens with Jem and Scout wishing that Atticus was more like their schoolmates' fathers. Atticus was boring and older than most of the other fathers, and Scout considered him

... feeble; he was nearly fifty... which we felt reflected upon his abilities and manliness.  (Chapter 10)

Atticus was too old to play football, and he "didn't do anything" exciting like the rest of the schoolchildren's fathers. His eyesight was poor and he wore glasses: "... nearly blind in his left eye," it was a "tribal curse of the Finches." Atticus's lawyering skills, which Jem and Scout completely took for granted, took place in an office instead of a garage or drugstore. Atticus's favorite pasttime was reading and, to the dismay of his children, he did not smoke, drink, hunt, fish or play poker like the other fathers.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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