Is Atticus a good father?

9 September 2016

TurnipIn the beginning of the story, Jem and Scout considered Atticus to be inadequate as a father. However, I think that they were acting somewhat childish. In reverse, Atticus is definitely an excellent role model and a good father for Jem and Scout. Firstly, Atticus raised two children – Jem and Scout on his own and was always there for them. He was affectionate with his children and he was always ready with a big hug when they needed comfort. Also, he was a loving and caring father who cared about their education and tried to use as much time as possible out of his packed work schedule to teach them how to read.

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Moreover, he spent father-child bonding time with them by reading stories to them at night. Secondly, he taught his children about morals and values patiently. He guided them with everyday lessons in life. He set such a good example for his children, even when it means risking his safety. Obviously there was a case where he defended Tom Robinson though no one else would. This shows that he was showing his children that everyone deserved to be treated equally regardless of their skin colours and that one must do what is right even when that means doing something difficult.

Thirdly, he taught his children valuable lessons through trivial incidents. For instance, he accepted payment in any form that his clients were able to give it, e. g. turnip greens, stove wood and hickory nuts, etc. It shows that he was teaching his children that money meant less than helping one’s human beings and that all people regardless of income or status deserved his help and friendship. Fourthly, although he allowed his children to play and explore freely, he was also a firm disciplinarian who always taught his children to think of how their actions will affect others and gave suitable punishments to them.

For example, when Jem damages the camellia bushes of Mrs. Dubose, Atticus advised him to say sorry to such an old and sick lady. Mrs Dubose then punished him by asking him to read to her every afternoon for two hours. Atticus used this experience to teach Jem what real “ courage” meant and focus on the principles of life and respects while upholding fairness and justice. To conclude, although Atticus is not a perfect father, he was very responsible and easily gained trust of Jem and Scout, which is something essential in every parent-child relationship.

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