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Atticus Finch’s parenting style is of concern to various characters in the novel for different reasons. First of all, Atticus is a single parent in a time when family values were strongly enforced and followed. Even though he isn’t a single parent by choice, this still skews some characters’ views of him, namely Mrs. Dubose. Mrs. Dubose does not hide her disdain for Atticus and the way he lets the children run wild. Another character who disapproves of Atticus’s parenting style is his sister, Aunt Alexandra. Lee strongly suggests through inference that Aunt Alexandra has long disapproved of Atticus and his children, but when he decides to take Tom’s case, she lets her true colors fly. She feels that he is not only going to ruin his children by defending Tom, but that he will also ruin the family name in the process. Much of the town follows this paradoxical way of thinking: they respect Atticus as a man and lawyer but question his reasons for taking Tom’s case and feel his ability to parent might be called into question.
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