A piece I wrote about being a parent, based on the character Atticus from the book To Kill A Mockingbird for English class.
English 10 CP
December 17, 2010
It’s never easy for someone to be a parent, specific a single parent. They are faced with many issues that they must deal with on their own. They must provide an education for their children , instill morales in them, teach them about the world, make most of their decisions for them when they’re still young, ultimately they must care for their children and make sure they’re happy and have the best possibly lives. Every parent hopes for nothing but the best for their kids. However, doing all that isn’t as easy as it may seem, and especially not when one has to do it alone. In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, Atticus, the father of the narrator Scout, and Jem, is a single parent and do everything expected of a parent while also dealing with many personal life issues.
In the novel, Atticus has a few things which he strongly tries to impress on his children. And, not only does he verbally attempt to do so, he also hopes they will learn from his actions.He hopes that they will never respond to anyone in a physical manner, that they will instead, conduct themselves in a proper fashion, and respond with calmness. “Atticus was leaving the post office when Mr. Ewell approached him, cursed him, spat on him, and threatened to kill him… Miss Stephanie said Atticus didn’t bat an eye, just took out his handkerchief and wiped his face and let Mr. Ewell call him names,” (Lee, 291). Atticus was practically attacked, and yet he didn’t engage with his aggressor, he just remained calm and passive, something he would want his kids to do if they ever found themselves in a situation. Atticus feels that one should give people a chance to get out whatever they need to, and things will settle down soon enough. Atticus also maintains that one shouldn’t judge others because of the way they do things. People come from all different places, backgrounds, religions, so just because a certain person or people do things one way, doesn’t mean that all other people’s ways are wrong. “You never really understand person until you consider things from his point of view – until climb into his skin and walk around in it,” (Lee, 39).
Atticus was pretty effective in inducing his lessons in his kids. “Atticus said I had learned many things today, and Miss Caroline had learned several things herself. She had learned not to hand something to a Cunningham, for one thing, but if Walter and I had put ourselves into her shoes we’d have seen it was an honest mistake on her part. We could not expect her to learn all Maycomb’s ways in one day, and we could not hold her responsible when she knew no better,” (Lee, 39-40). Scout understands and accept Atticus’ teaching, to not be prejudice orlook down upon others for what they do, right away, because he presented it to her in a way she could understand, and she did. Another of Atticus’ teachings, one which Miss Jean-Louise(Scout) learns throughout the book, was the most important, it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird. However, Scout doesn’t only learn it from Atticus, the lesson comes from all different sources in the novel. “Mr. Underwood simply figured it was a sin to kill cripples, be they standing, sitting, or escaping,” (Lee, 323).
Atticus felt that if he hadn’t done all the things he did, he wouldn’t be able to face his children. He knew that to be able to teach them all he did, he had to live up to a certain standard of morales and ideals. He couldn’t do one thing and next teach his children to do differently. Ultimately, he was successful in instilling all he possibly could into his children. He really made them understand whatever it was he trying to convey whether by what he did, or explaining things to them plainly in ways they could understand. Atticus is a good father to his kids.