To Kill A Mockingbird

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 10th grade February 2008

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To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee's ,To Kill a Mockingbird, is about a single father who struggles raising his two children, Jem and Scout, while defending a black man in a town who's majority of people are white. He is a respectful, noble, fair man. Atticus treats everyone equal , weather it's someone's race, age, or gender. Teaching Jem and Scout these same principals, so they can teach others. The children understand that a person can't judge another person by appearance . Atticus treats his children as if they were adults. In return Jem and Scout act back like adults with intelligence of the world. This novel demonstrates that Atticus Finch is a ideal father.

Jem, Scout, and their friend Dill have a great fascination with their neighbor who lives down the street, who is Mr. Arthur Radley. A majority of the town gossips about how he is a mad man.

Mrs. Rachel says Mr. Radley tried to kill his father one day for no apparent reason. Mr. Radley's father didn't want to send him away to a insane asylum, so he's been locked up in his house ever since. AS a joke the kids call him Boo Radley. One day the kids were going to leave a letter on Boo Radley's porch telling him to come out of his house. Atticus arrives home from work and sees what the children are up to, and is now extremely upset. " I'm going to tell you something and tell you one time. Stop tormenting that man!" (49). Atticus knows that all the stories that the town says about Mr. Radley are all made up and assumed. He knows that Mr. Radley is a decent man. As any ideal father should, he tells Jem, Scout, and Dill not to bother Mr. Radley anymore.

Like the novel demonstrates Atticus is defending Tom Robertson, who is alienated by the town because of his color. Atticus knows that Tom Robertson is innocent, so race simply is not the issue, as it is to the prosecutor. Tom is accused for raping Mayola Ewell. Since Atticus is white and Tom is black, people think it's strange that Atticus is on a black man's side who raped a white woman. Scout goes to school hearing people calling her father names such as nigger-lover. Scout comes home asking what a nigger-lover is and why he is defending one. "The main one is if I didn't, I couldn't hold up my head in town, I could not even tell Jem or you something to do."(75) Atticus explains to the Children that it is his job to defend people when they are in need. Their race, gender, or age can never stop him from being their lawyer. As being an ideal father, Atticus knows that if he turned down someone, his children would also turn him down as well. If Atticus as an adult sets a bad example, that would mean to Jem and Scout that it's ok.

It's Christmas time and Atticus, Jem, and Scout go visit Uncle Jack, Aunt Alexundra, and cousin Francis. Francis and Scout aren't getting along so well, because Francis is saying offal things about Atticus. Francis says things such as nigger-lover and lady-whore. Scout gets fed up with Francis teasing her about her father, and punches him in the face. Uncle Jack calls Scout over asking her why she hit Fransis. Scout told Uncle Jack what Francis called her and her dad. Out of curiosity Scout asks what a lady-whore is. Uncle Jack wasn't sure what to tell Scout because she was so young. He didn't want her to no of such things in the world. Instead of Uncle Jack telling Scout what a lady-whore was, he lied. Atticus found out and was a little upset. "Jack! When a child asks you something you answer him for gods sake. But don't make a production out of it. Children are children, but they can spot evasion better than adults, and evasions simply mugg'em."(87)Atticus tells. Atticus tells his children the truth so they aren't shut away from the world. As the novel shows an ideal father knows that keeping one's children away from the world, enables that child to enter the world later on as the child becomes an adult.

Everyday walking home from school, Jem and Scout pass up Mrs. Duboses's house. They don't like Mrs. Dubose at all. As they pass by, Mrs. Dubose makes rude and cruel insults to them, even when they're nice to her. One day Mrs. Dubose made Jem so mad her stomped all over her flowers till they were flat to the ground. To pay the dept afterwards, Jem had to go to Mrs. Dubose's house everyday after school to read to her for one hour. Scout would always came along with Jem because Jem was afraid of Mrs. Dubose, so Scout didn't want him to be all alone. Later after his debt was paid Mrs. Dubose died.

Atticus told something about Mrs. Dubose he never Knew about. Mrs. Dubose was a very sick women and in order to deal with the pain she took morphine; she was a morphine addict.

"She had her own views about things, a lot different from mine, maybe … son, I told you that if you hadn't lost your head I wouldn't have made you go and read to her. I wanted you to see something about her. I wanted you to see something about her, instead of getting the idea that courage isn't a man with a gun in his hand."(112) Atticus explains to Jem.

Like the novel demonstrates Atticus being the ideal father, he wants Jem to understand that courage and honor doesn't come from what you see on the outside. Atticus wants Jem to see that people like Mrs. Dubose have courage.

Mr. Bob Ewell is the father of Mayolla who was the person who accused Tom Robertson, who Atticus is defending, of raping her. Mr. Ewell is very upset because Tom is black and Atticus is white. Mr. Ewell doesn't like the fact that a white man is on a black man's side, instead of Atticus being on the white mans side. Atticus ran into Mr. Ewell at the post office. Mr. Ewell came up in front of Atticus and spit right in his face. This was Atticus's reaction afterwards.

"The man had to have some kind of come back, his kind always does. So if spitting in my face and threatening me saved Mayolla Ewell one extra beating that's some thing I'll gladly take. He had to take it out on somebody and I'd rather it be me than that house hold of children out there."(218) Atticus knows that Mr. Ewell beats his children. He also knows that Tom Robertson didn't rape Mayolla, her father beat her for trying to kiss Tom. Atticus can't tell anyone that Mr. Ewell spit in his face or he would get mad and take it out on the innocent children. Atticus, being an ideal father, also has children of his own. Atticus is thinking more of the children than himself. Just like he would for his children.

Jem and Scout were walking home one night. Scout had just performed in the school play as a ham. The costume was a little difficult to get around in. As they were walking someone was attaching Jem. Scout couldn't see to well threw her costume. Jem was knocked out pretty bad. Then someone came up. Picked up Jem and carried him home. Scout followed them home, but didn't see who it was. When she got home had she seen that the person who saved Jem and her lives was Mr. Arthur Radley. All those times she had made fun of him and treated him cruelly. Her father was right. Then she walked Mr. Radley to his porch and stood there for a few seconds and thought to herself. "Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them."(279) The novel shows Atticus being the ideal father by showing Scout that you can't really judge anyone or thing before you really get to know it. If she do then she's going to misunderstand a lot of things in life. Never really knowing what this world and the people in it are all about.

Throughout Harper lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem and Scouts father, Atticus raises them right. Atticus teaches his children respect and to respect anyone weather it's their race, gender, or age. Therefore this novel shows that Atticus is the ideal father. Atticus treats Jem and Scout as if they were adults and in result they're growing up beautifully into young adults. Knowing that they'll be ready to enter the real world with dignity, and courage.