What Makes Atticus a Good Father?

Billy Graham once said, “ A good father is one of the most unsung, unpraised, unnoticed, and yet one of the most valuable assets in our society.” This relates to Atticus Finch in the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee because he is a very dedicated lawyer that does at times go unnoticed but it valuable to the society around him. Atticus Finch shows that he is a good father through his lessons that he tries to teach Scout and the way he disciplines his children.

Atticus Finch is a good father to Jem and Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird. He is a good father because of the lessons he tries to teach Scout. For example when Scout asks Atticus how Mr. Cunningham is going to pay back Atticus for the money borrowed since he is very poor. Atticus states, “ Not in money, but before the year’s out i’ll have been paid, you watch”(Lee 29). Atticus is trying to teach Scout that generosity doesn’t necessarily go unpaid. Just because someone doesn’t pay Atticus back in the money that was borrowed, he doesn’t get angry and mean, instead he tells Scout that he will eventually get paid back even if it is in a different way. He is trying to show her that it is okay to help someone without receiving anything in return. Next, Atticus shows that he is a very fair father to Jem and Scout through the way he disciplines his children. For example when Jem is planning on going out during the night to retrieve his pants from Boo Radley’s property Jem isn’t terrified that he is going to get beat. When he is trying to leave Jem tells Scout, “ I – it’s like this Scout, Atticus ain’t ever whipped me since I can remember”(Lee 70). When Atticus gets mad at Jem and Scout or when they are in trouble for doing something they shouldn’t he doesn’t get physical, instead he disciplines them fairly and talks to them in a civil manner about what they had done wrong. Jem and Scout know that what they are going to do could get them in trouble but they also aren’t fearful that they are going to get physically abused by Atticus since he is not a violent father. Ultimately, Atticus’s actions and parenting skills show that he is a good father to Jem and Scout.

Despite Atticus’s fair parenting some may argue that Atticus Finch is not a good father to Jem and Scout. For example Atticus wouldn’t listen to his children’s reasoning when. He tells them, “… you’re to stay away from that house until invited there. You’re not to make fun of anyone on this street or in this town… no, putting his life’s story on display for the neighborhood”(Lee 60). Jem and Scout were just trying to invite Boo Radley out of his home to make him feel better and feel more welcomed but Atticus yells at them for their actions. He believes that they are just doing so to be nosy and invade his privacy when they were truly just trying to be kind to Mr. Radley. However, this is not true since he it trying to teach them to not invade other people’s privacy. Atticus’s attempts to teach Jem and Scout valuable lessons and to punish them fairly out rules that he is not a good father to Jem and Scout.

Ultimately Atticus is a good father to Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. There are times where Atticus doubts what Jem and Scout’s actions intentions are and yells at them for it but he does try and teach them things that will help them in the real world. He is a good father because he pushes valuable lessons into their heads and disciplines them fairly instead of raising his hands at them. In conclusions, Atticus’s efforts to do everything he can to show and teach Jem and Scout valuable lessons, also proves that he is a good father to Jem and Scout especially during the time period they live in.

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