Is Atticus A Good Parent?
Is Atticus A Good Parent? “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” Benjamin Franklin. In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, Atticus, the father of Scout and Jem Finch, is seen as not teaching his children to be proper as the other children, but rather allowing them to be more unruly. What others may not understand is that Atticus is teaching Jem and Scout important things about life. He is helping them to understand people and the world around them. Atticus is a good parent, though his method differs from others, he teaches his children about morals in life, such as telling them not to hurt those who do no harm to others; what real courage is rather than what they think it is, as well as that you shouldn’t judge others. One of the lessons Atticus teaches his children is to not harm those who do no harm. He teaches them that they shouldn’t hurt someone or something that didn’t hurt them or anyone else. If all they do is bring you joy or do no wrong, then there is no reason to hurt them in any way. In the quote it says,“... But remember it’s a sin to kill a mocking bird… They don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us.”( Lee 90) Atticus was telling his children that it was a sin to harm a Mockingbird. He used a Mockingbird as a metaphor for not harming animals or people who do no harm. Atticus wants them to understand that sometimes there are people who don’t harm you or do harm to others. Another one of the lessons Atticus teaches Jem and Scout is to understand true courage. He had Jem go read to a lady called Ms. Dubose who was soon to die, but still fought to stay alive, even though she was scared too. He wanted him to understand what real courage was through her, which is shown in the quote, “ I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand.”(Lee 112). Atticus wanted them to understand that being scared, but still doing what you need to do, is courage, not holding a gun or being tough. It’s when someone is scared and knows it might not be worth it, but still goes in and fights. Finally, one of the lessons Atticus teaches throughout the book is not to judge someone before understanding them. Atticus is teaching Scout that she can’t know them until she lives their life. In the quote, it says, “ 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) Atticus was trying to let Scout understand she can’t make assumptions. She can’t say she understands a person without actually knowing them. Scout had not understood this person’s life, yet she tried to say she understood them. Atticus wanted her to understand that she didn’t live their life and therefore, couldn’t judge their actions. Other adults in Maycomb may disagree with Atticus’s style of parenting as Aunt Alexandria does. They believe that Jem and Scout should act as young ladies and gentlemen do, rather than being unruly and improper. Believing that Scout should wear dresses and play tea party rather than wearing overalls and playing in the yard with Jem. Even though other folks of Maycomb may believe this, both Jem and Scout learn important lessons from Atticus. By understanding things that some children don’t learn till they’re older. Atticus lets them be who they want to be as long as they know what's right and wrong. In conclusion, Atticus is seen as a good parent to Scout and Jem. He may not make them act like young ladies and gentlemen, but he makes sure they understand important lessons that they can use for the rest of their lives. Lessons such as not harming those who do no harm; that real courage is fighting even when you're scared; and not judging people till you walk in their shoes.