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Atticus: Good or Bad? To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee

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What qualifies as a good father? In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus Finch is the father of the two main characters, Jem and Scout. Atticus is Maycomb’s town lawyer, and he defends an African American named Tom Robinson. In the 1930’s people were prejudiced to people of a different skin color.  Also, they discriminated against people with special needs and women. Although society did not agree with his position, Atticus felt obligated to defend Tom because it was the right thing to do. People who were a different skin color, had to work as slaves. People with special needs had to go to mental institutions because they weren’t good enough to be in school. And, women could not vote, they basically did not work, they stayed home with their kids.  In  To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus is good father because he does not discriminate against people, he provides for them, and he teaches them how to read and write.
   

Atticus tells his children not to discriminate against people. Scout got into a fight with this kid named Walter Cunningham because she thought he was poor, and she did not consider his feelings. “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it” (Lee, 30). This explains that you never understand what the other people go through every day, Atticus would go through their shoes and see how bad life was for them.  A bad parent would just allow fighting, and would not care about you at all. They’re just going to be like, “Do whatever you want, I don’t really care.” Would you ever want a parent that was like that to you, or to anyone?
       

Atticus provides for his children. On Scout's first day of school, she had to talk about her father's job.  Her father provided the amount of tools they need to succeed. “Our father didn‘t do anything. He worked in an office, not in a drugstore. Atticus did not drive a dump-truck for the county, he was not the sheriff, and he did not farm, work in a garage, or do anything that could possibly arouse the admiration of anyone”(Lee, 118). This explains that he was a lawyer, not any of the above. A bad parent would just do nothing, they would let you out of the house whenever you want. Also, a bad parent would be lazy all day, not working, just like watching tv and eating a bag of chips on the sofa. Then the parent would just go to bed, without knowing you’re there. Why do bad parents not provide for your needs?
       

Atticus teaches his kids how to read and write. On her first day of school, Scout reflected on his only good abilities to her; he taught them to read and write. “He did not do the things our schoolmates’ fathers did: he never went hunting, he did not play poker or fish or drink or smoke.  He sat in the living room and read” (Lee,118). This quote explains that he was a good father to the children, he would never let his kids do dangerous things. He was just a more educated dad than a regular dad, during that time period. He wanted his kids to be educated, so they can grow up to be good people. A bad parent would not do these things for their children. A bad parent would just let them learn in school, and whenever they asked for help, they would just say no, and let them fail. Why do bad parents let their children fail?
       

Atticus doesn't make fun of other people. He provides his kids with shelter, food, and education.  Also, he teaches them how to read and write.  In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Atticus is a good father because he doesn’t discriminate against other people. He provides his kids with shelter, food, and education, and he teaches them how to read and write. The bottom line is, good parents are better than bad parents.




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