Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird is set in Maycomb County, a small district in the state of Alabama. It takes place in the time period of the early 1930’s a time remembered by many as the start of the Great Depression. It is narrated by a young girl named Jean Louise “Scout” Finch; she lives with her older brother Jeremy “Jem” Finch and her father Atticus Finch. In the novel Atticus is a lawyer representing a Negro man named Tom Robinson accused to have raped a white women, and in this time period discrimination is highly common towards colored people. Atticus even having been openly criticized throughout the novel and disrespected for his decision to defend Tom Robinson, had been able to manage to use philosophies and actions to demonstrate that he is a good father.
Atticus openly preaches to Jem and Scout about the importance of sympathy and understanding and is always teaching his children through philosophies. He tries to explain to Scout how that she cannot fully understand someone “until you climb into his skin and walk around in it (Lee 33).” This was said to Scout after she complains that her teacher told her she cannot read books with her father any longer. Atticus being the good father he is made her realize that her teacher has many other students to teach and she is new to Maycomb so she does not know the Maycomb way yet (Lee 16). He teaches this lesson to scout all in terms she can easily digest and process what he is trying to say.
Atticus also is a good father to Scout and Jem through his actions that are well educated but also recognized by the other townsfolk. For example he teaches his children not hold a grudge against anyone no matter what they do, and his actions were so respectful even Miss Stephanie Crawford noticed them and complimented him on them (Lee 116 ). He demonstrates this when Bob Ewell meets him at the post office and greets him by spitting in his face, instead of making a big deal about it he simply wipes it off, sits there and lets Mr. Ewell insult him. Later when he discusses it with his children all he said about it was “I wish Bob Ewell wouldn’t chew tobacco (Lee 116).” This shows Jem and Scout that even though they heard from Miss Stephanie Crawford what awful thing Mr. Ewell had done their father had only to say was he wished that Mr. Ewell had chewed less tobacco. Instead of going on and on about what feelings of anger he might have had towards Mr. Ewell, proving to his children that not even he holds a grudge against people.
Atticus is a father who was very knowledgeable and spoke to his six year old daughter and son as though they are grown up, in other words he did not sugar coat it for them. When he tells Jem “you rarely win, but sometimes you do (Lee 128).” It shows how