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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, what are some examples in which problems are solved using reason and intelligence?

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MR. RADLEY & THE KNOTHOLE.  Sadly for the Finch children, Boo's father solves the problem of his son's communication via the knothole by simply filling in the not-so-secret hiding place with cement. By eliminating the knothole, Boo no longer has a way of leaving presents for Jem and Scout, and vice versa. Mr. Radley obviously did not approve of Boo's growing interest in the Finch children, so this was a cruel but practical solution.

DILL THE RUNAWAY.  When Jem and Scout discover the runaway Dill under their bed, Jem surprises Scout by informing Atticus of the situation. Jem knows that Atticus will know what to do, and he is right. He first tells Miss Rachel that Dill is hungry but safe, and that it would be best for Dill to stay at the Finch home for the evening. Dill could deal with his parents in the morning. It was a memorable evening for Dill and Scout, who innocently share her bed for the night. 

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When I think of reason and intelligence in this book, I think of Atticus Finch. One example immediately comes to mind. When Mrs. Dubose is bad-mouthing the Finch family to Scout and Jem, I believe Atticus had a right to be angry. She criticized Atticus’s career choices and personal family life. However, instead of responding with anger, he greets her with kindness and compliments then uses this situation to teach the children about understanding others.


Atticus focuses on Mrs. Dubose good qualities, she has determined to break herself  free from her addiction to morphine, even though she is dying. Atticus explains to the children that she is displaying a courageous act and doesn’t let her negative attitude phase him.

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