To Kill a Mockingbird Literary Response: Is Atticus a Good Parent
I do not agree with the statement and i think that Attticus is not “total failure as a parent”. Although he is not the perfect role model parent, he is very responsible and easily gained the trust of Jem and Scout, something essential in every parent-child relationship. Also, even though he is a single parent, he tries his best to raise Jem and Scout to be moral and respectable people. Atticus incorporated good moral values into Jem and Scout by acting as a good role model to them and strongly upholding justice and not taking favourites, even to his own children.
He taught his children not to judge people by their skin color or race through his own words and actions, and not to be racist against the Negros. He also taught them to respect others and emphatise with them. Atticus accepted the case of Tom Robinson to show his children that we should always believe in justice and equality regardless of skin color and not let innocent people get punished and guilty people get away scot-free.
When Jem cut the top of every camellia bush Mrs Dubose owned out of anger at Mrs Dubose for insulting Atticus, Mrs Dubose punished him by asking him to read to her after school and on Saturdays.
Atticus used this experience to teach Jem to emphatise with Mrs Dubose as she is sick, old and about to die and just wanted to listen to a few nice stories before passing on. Atticus also focused on the principles of life and respects and emphatises others, whilst upholding fairness and justice, hence being a good parent and role model for Jem and Scout. Atticus is also a very loving and caring father despite being a very busy man and having to face the burden and stress that comes with his job of being a lawyer.
He cares about their education and tries to take as much time as possible out of his packed work schedule to teach them how to read. He also spends quality father-child bonding time with them by reading to them at night. He tried to protect them from the mob that tried to attack him for defending a Negro. He worried about the safety of their lives when the mob appeared at Heck Tate’s house to lynch Tom Robinson. Also, when Atticus heard about the mad dog, old Tim Johnson, that was down the street going towards Jem and Scout, he instantly rushed home and tried to protect them from the dog.
Moreover, Atticus never used violence on Jem and Scout as a punishment for the mistakes they made in the entire story. Instead, he explains why they were wrong and the consequences of their actions. This shows that Atticus loved his children deeply and wants to teach them right from wrong without hurting or harming them in anyway. Atticus gives his children freedom to do whatever they want up till certain extents. He knows the correct time to not disturb them and the right time to intervene as an adult and correct whatever mistake was being made.
He made sure that Scout and Jem were abiding by the rules at all times. Atticus does not try to impose his thoughts or views on them like some parents do, he respects their decision and not think that only their method or solution is right. Atticus even allows them to do stuff other parents in Maycomb County thinks is appropriate, like allowing Scout to run around in overalls and not dresses like all the other girls wear, as he thinks that that’s whats best for them. He even allows them to call him “Atticus” instead of “Papa”.
When Scout talked to Atticus about not going to school, Atticus managed to make a deal with her so that she would still go to school but she could read with him every night. This shows that Atticus wanted to give Scout space, however did not give her too much that she did not go to school as going to school was essential. Also, when Atticus found out the children were playing the Boo Radley game and that Scout was using “salty” language, he did not stop them. This shows that Atticus did not control what Jem and Scout did unless things were getting too serious or out of hand.
Hence, this shows me that Atticus is a unconventional and liberal parent. I think that Atticus is a successful parent who brought up his children well. He does not treat them condescendingly and instead treats them like adults, yet still love and care for them greatly. He managed to gain his children’s respect and trust through his way of raising them and formed a strong bond with them. Although he is busy with his job, he tries his best to make up to them for not having a mother by fulfilling both roles and loving them unconditionally. ithink that he is a very good role model for his children to follow and learn from as they grow up.
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