‘to kill a mockingbird’
April 20, 2011
Atticus’s Role as a Father
-Atticus and Scout-
In Maycomb, where the story develops, every residents know each other and cares while rumors based on discrimination against minorities exists and racism is extreme. Here, a lawyer named Atticus lives with two kids, Scout and Jem. Atticus stands against majorities and stands out for the minorities, the weak ones. It would have been a greater confusion to the kids if Atticus did not teach them to have correct understanding of the situation. Atticus did not fall in prejudice, and taught his kids to be the same. By two steps, Scout and Jem learns from Atticus that each people have differences but all of them are nice if we finally see them.
When Scout was only six, she first became aware of the fact that some people are different from her. Like any other kids in Maycomb, Scout and Jem believed in the rumor about Boo Radley. Rumor said Boo has gone crazy, after he got confined in his house. Naturally the kids felt fear and curiosity rather than compassion and understanding. After Scout gets into school, she meets a group of people; the Ewells. Scout feels unfair that she has to go to school and obey laws while the Ewells are free to do whatever they want. From first time, she understands differences between people from Atticus. Atticus explains Ewells were members of an exlusive society, and Scout is common folk. He informs that although their behaviors may seem wrong, it is their way of living and that we should understand it. Afterwards, the kids go through a process of actually encountering the problem.
Later in the story, Atticus directly faces people with bias, the majorities and stands for the minority. Thus what Atticus have said becomes calpable to the kids. When Tom Robinson, a black man, was accused to be a rapist, Atticus stood out as a defender. People in the village disapproved of it, saying that it is a disgrace. In such situation, Scout also hears jeer from schoolmates. It spread that her father was defending a negro against white person, which makes Scout ask what is the problem. Atticus tells Scout that they will be fighting friends, not Yankees and says, “But remember this, no matter how bitter things get, they’re still our friends and this is still our home.” He encouraged Scout to be more confident in what her father is doing, and taught they are not doing anything wrong. Afterwards, Scout and Jem hears words as ‘nigger-lover’ or ‘lawed for trash’, which makes them get confused about their father. Every time they get frustrated, Atticus does not hesitate in explaining what may be the right perspective. What he taught is based on ‘majority rule does not equal a person’s conscience’. From this experience of their father, the kids grow another step learning about ‘differences’ to ‘prejudice’ by heart.
Atticus does not pay particular attention towards the kids. However, he set a good role of these kids and tires to explain as much as he can when the kids ask for it. Growing under a father like him, the kids also understands the minorities, and criticism made by majority of people. They also see the error in it. Although the Judge convicted Tom guilty as expected, Atticus did not fail, rather he gave a meaningful lesson to people, especially to Scout and Jem. Furthermore, Atticus is author himself, and what the author wishes to emphasis. And in that sense, what Atticus does and teaches Scout and Jem is full of suggestions to all readers.