Of Atticus's Reputation In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

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“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” This quote, made by John Wooden, accurately describes what parents in our society would want to tell their children from a young age; the age at which a child’s mind can still be influenced. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee is trying to convey that parental discipline and support in a child’s life is crucial to a child’s identity. Atticus, teaches his children: Jem and Scout, valuable character traits throughout the novel which aid them with their personality development. The most predominant traits which he establishes are courage, empathy and integrity.

In the novel, Atticus
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For instance, the majority of Maycomb believes that Arthur Radley is evil. That is why his nickname is “Boo”, it symbolizes that everyone is scared of him yet none of the people really get to know him; they base their opinions and beliefs on prejudice, rumors and nothing more. Throughout the novel, Arthur shows that he is in fact kind and he tries to change the perception Scout and Jem have about him. “Atticus was right. One time he said you never really know a man until you stand in his shoes and walk around in them. Just standing on the Radley porch was enough.” (Lee 374). Atticus constantly repeats that Jem and Scout should leave Arthur alone due to the fact that they do not know what he has been through and why he acts the way he does. He tries to explain that prejudice is wrong and it only causes damage. This quote shows that Scout finally realizes that all the rumors about him were false and that once she sees him, his actions, and his point of view, she understands that Atticus is right. Arthur is indeed innocent and the victim of the town’s citizens and he does not deserve to be treated and talked about the way he is. Moreover, Atticus shows them that empathy can be shown even to the people that are mean to us. “Jem, see if you can stand in Bob Ewell’s …show more content…
He shows this by believing that he must stay true to himself despite what other people think of him. “’They’re entitled to full respect for their opinions,’ said Atticus, ‘but before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.’” (Lee 100). Atticus explains that even though everyone around him has a bias, he will not change his own opinion in order to fit in. He wants Scout to understand and follow this advice since it will make her better, unique and true to herself. Since Scout is still so young he can greatly impact her identity. Just like in the Tom Robinson case, even though there are people that think that he is not guilty; they fear the unknown and feel the pressure of the prejudice of others, which results in his conviction. In brief, Atticus wants to tell his kids from a young age that they should state their opinion instead of blindly following others since it can often change for the better of society. Furthermore, Atticus shows that standing up for what you believe in is right is when he explains Scout why he chooses to defend Tom Robinson at the trial. “’but there’s been some high talk around town to the effect that I shouldn’t do much about defending this man’-…-‘If you should be defending him, then why are you doing this?’ ‘For a number of reasons,’ said

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