December 5

“Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!”

Tonight, after you have re-read chapters 10-11 of To Kill a Mockingbird, please respond on our blog:

  • What passage or passages strike you as interesting or singular and why?
  • What questions do you want to discuss with the class?
  • Why do you think these questions may generate interesting discussion?
  • Remember, a good discussion question does not have a single answer.  Good questions lead to interesting conversations.

Also remember to:

  • Annotate!  Annotate!  Annotate!  Use post-it notes to mark important passages and to write two or three discussion questions to direct our discussion tomorrow.  Remember!  Everyone must participate.
Mockingbird blog #4


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Posted December 5, 2018 by equinson in category To Kill a Mockingbird

37 thoughts on ““Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!”

  1. Myles Ng

    When he gave us our air-rifles Atticus wouldn’t teach us to shoot. Uncle Jack instructed us in the rudiments thereof; he said Atticus wasn’t interested in guns. Atticus said to Jem one day, “I’d rather you shot at tin cans in the back yard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but
    remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.
    That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it.
    “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music
    for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they
    don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”

    This is the only time the title of the book is repeated in the story. This must mean that these statements are of great value to this book. I wonder if there might be the same thing that happened when it snowed:
    “Mr. Avery said it was written on the Rosetta Stone that when
    children disobeyed their parents, smoked cigarettes and made war on each other, the seasons would change: Jem and I were burdened with the guilt of contributing to the aberrations of nature, thereby causing unhappiness to our neighbors and discomfort to ourselves.”

    Maybe killing a mockingbird will be like children smoking, this will cause some sort of disaster later on.

    Reply
    1. Emma Garbowitz

      I agree with you that this is the first time the reader can see the actual title in the story being repeated. However, it must have much greater meaning as we dive deeper into the novel.

      Reply
  2. Emma Garbowitz

    “‘Maybe I can tell you,’ said Miss Maudie. ‘If your father’s anything, he’s civilized in his heart. Marksmanship’s a gift of God, a talent- oh, you have to practice to make it perfect, but shootings different from playing the piano or the like. I think maybe he put his gun down when he realized that God had given him an unfair advantage over most living things. I guess he decided he wouldn’t shoot till he had to. and he had to today,'”(p.130).

    When Miss Maudie shared this information with Jem and Scout, what she said really stood out to me. In this scene, there is a dog running (technically it was walking really slowly) loose and everyone was panicking about how it could be dangerous or cause harm to people. Although Atticus knew that the dog could cause danger, he was hesitant towards shooting it and was trying to force his friend to do the job himself. However, Atticus did end up doing the task but wasn’t to pleased about it. Later, after the dog was dead, the townspeople were talking about how “One Shot Finch” (Atticus) was back.
    When Miss Maudie shares this information with Jem and Scout I was perplexed. My idea would be that if you have a talent, you should share it. But, it is understandable that Atticus would rather keep this talent to himself. This proves how he is kind and understanding, considering he cares for all living things and people. Atticus wouldn’t want to do anything to harm anything which I found very respectable. He obviously has his own morals and knows what he should do for himself rather than what he should do for anyone else. I believe Atticus did the right thing by keeping his talent a secret and not using it unless it was for an emergency (which in this case it was). He could’ve been boasting and bragging about his shooting skills but instead he was modest. He could’ve been the best hunter around yet he chose what he thought was the right thing to do and I think he made the right decision.

    Reply
    1. Laila Sayegh

      I agree. Atticus hiding his talent instead of boasting about it shows what morals he has and the type of person he is. He uses his talent only when needed and is very humble about it too.

      Reply
  3. Laila Sayegh

    “Naw, Scout, it’s something you wouldn’t understand. Atticus is real old, but I
    wouldn’t care if he couldn’t do anything — I wouldn’t care if he couldn’t do a
    blessed thing. Jem picked up a rock and threw it jubilantly at the carhouse. Running after it, he called back: “Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!”

    “Easy does it, son,” Atticus would say. “She’s an old lady and she’s ill. You just
    hold your head high and be a gentleman. Whatever she says to you, it’s your job
    not to let her make you mad.”

    “Come on, Scout,” he whispered. “Don’t pay any attention to her, just hold your
    head high and be a gentleman.”

    In these past few chapters, a word that has been thrown around a lot is the word gentleman. Both Atticus and Jem have been described as gentlemen and at one point, Jem even commands Scout to be a gentleman. This word being used so much reminded me of Great Expectations and how Pip had longed to be a “gentleman.” But, it is clear to see that the word gentleman carries two different meanings. In Great Expectations being a gentleman basically just meant being noble and receiving a large amount of respect, but in To Kill a Mockingbird being a gentleman means giving your respect to other people, no matter what class you are in. For example when Atticus tells Jem to be a gentleman to Mrs. Dubose, he means that he should do whatever it takes to please Mrs. Dubose and give her respect, even though Jem cleary didn’t want to. Also when Jem tells Scout to “be a gentleman”, there is no possible way Scout could actually be a gentleman, especially if you use the word gentleman in the terms Charles Dickens had used it in. Scout is only in second grade, from a not so wealthy family, and is a girl, but she could still be a respectful young girl and that is exactly what would make her a “gentleman.” This intrigues me so much because Harper Lee almost changed the meaning of the word gentleman and used it in her own way to show the morals of this family.

    Reply
    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I’ve noticed the word gentleman in these last few chapters too, but I really like your analysis and how you took the meaning of the word to a whole new level. I think an interesting class discussion question could be which do you think of as the definition of gentleman: Harper Lee’s interpretation or Charles Dickens’s interpretation?

      Reply
  4. Emily

    “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us to enjoy. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”(p. 119)

    This scene striked me as interesting because it, first off, made a reference to the title of the book, but also it introduced a new symbol to the book. The initial the reason this passage strikes one as odd is that it refers to the title of the novel, which makes one immediately pause and try to decipher how it is important. Afterwards, one realizes that through just a few short sentences, Lee establishes a new symbol, of a mockingbird. A mockingbird is a powerful symbol because it is illustrated by an innocent little bird that does no harm and minds its own business. However, it represents so much more than that. I think that it could represent the characters of the book, and their actions throughout the story. To begin, we have Boo Radley, a seemingly kind person who is assumed as a horrifying monster by the majority of the town. In this context, Boo is portrayed as a character who has done good deeds in the past with little evidence of him being actually harmful, but like shootin a mockingbird, the whole town has turned on him and raised him to an almost inhuman, malevolent being that is responsible for all of the crimes through town. What other character do you think fall into the category of “being a mockingbird”? Furthermore, what characters could be described as to have, “shot a mockingbird”?

    Reply
    1. Kate Ma.

      I agree with your point about how many different characters could be related to the symbol of “to kill a mockingbird”.

      Reply
      1. stephaniec

        I like how you used Boo is an example of a mockingbird. Boo was never seen doing anything wrong, but if anything goes wrong, he is first to blame. While, in fact, we have only seen him do good.

        Reply
  5. Kate Ma.

    “Atticus pushed his glasses to his forehead; they slipped down and he dropped them in the street. I the silence I heard them crack. Atticus rubbed his eyes and chin;we saw him blink hard…With movements so swift they seemed simultaneous, Atticus’s hand yanked a ball-tipper lever as he brought the gun to his shoulder.”

    This passage intrigued me because throughout these chapters we learned how Scout wasn’t proud of Atticus because he was old and was incapable of doing things such as playing football. We also know that Atticus would not pick up a gun and shoot, but now our views change about Atticus as we see him demonstrating his hidden talent of being extremely good at shooting. This also gives Scout and Jem a new viewpoint of their dad as he never mentioned anything about being a shooter. I think that these scenes allow us to predict that we don’t know everything about Atticus and there are many hidden aspects to his personality that has not been uncovered yet. For what we do know, Atticus is loving and good-natured as he sees the good in everybody, as he did with Ms. Dubose. I think parts of Atticus’s past have not been revealed and maybe his character is hiding some truths. What really did strike me was how Atticus is party blind in his left eye without his glasses yet he was able to make such a great shot. This alludes to the point in which Atticus is very unique and not like many others which is a good thing, even if Scout doesn’t see it. Scout believes that being and believing in things that other people think is right, although it’s good to be different. Scout may think that being partly blind in the left eye is a disadvantage, it may lead to how good Atticus was at shooting which is an advantage. The message of differences aren’t always a bad thing show a lot in this novel, especially with Atticus’s character. Atticus slowly teaches Scout throughout his personality traits that it’s okay to be different and in some cases it’s better, like with Tom Robinsons case. Throughout the novel, Atticus’s personality shines through and teaches Scout more and more.

    Reply
  6. stephaniec

    “Yes indeed, what has this world come to when a Finch goes against his raising. I’ll tell you… Your father’s no better than the nigger and trash he works for.” (p.135)

    Atticus was frequently judged by the people of Macomb based on his actions of defending an African-American. Earlier in the novel, Francis, Scout and Jem’s 8 year old cousin, said “we’ll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb again. He’s running’ the family, that’s what he’s doing.” (p. 110). Even Atticus’ family was ashamed and embarrassed of his actions. In the chapter’s from tonight, we saw another example of Atticus’ peers judging his actions. Mrs. Dubose said, “Yes indeed, what has this world come to when a Finch goes against his raising. I’ll tell you… Your father’s no better than the nigger and trash he works for.” (p.135). This time, Atticus’ neighbor was judging him. Although all people have different opinions, a lot of the characters that oppose Atticus’ actions, voiced they’re opinions to Scout and Jem, not Atticus. When Atticus came to visit Mrs. Dubose, Scout thought to himself, “For the first time in my life I could not figure out how she could bring herself to speak to him when she hated him so.” (p. 145).

    Reply
  7. jaclynl

    “I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody… I’m hard put, sometimes—
    baby, it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just
    shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you. So don’t let Mrs. Dubose
    get you down. She has enough troubles of her own.” (pgs. 144-145)

    A lot is shown about Atticus’s character in this passage and in this novel so far. Compared to the rest of Maycomb, Atticus seems to be extremely different in his character and values. He believes in loving everybody, not just those who have a certain skin color. This idea is something that is quite different from the time period that the novel takes place in, and Atticus knows that he is going to get backlash for these views. To him, though, he does not care what the people of Maycomb say about him. He is very strong-minded, even wise because of the way he views life. “I wanted you to see something about her—I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his
    hand.” (pg. 149) Each time Atticus and Scout have a talk, more knowledge and wisdom is shared that not only teaches Scout life lessons but the reader as well. He seems to be a mentor character to both Scout and Jem, guiding them both in the right direction.

    Reply
  8. johnh1

    “‘…trashy people use it
    when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It’s
    slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common,
    ugly term to label somebody.’
    ‘You aren’t really a nigger-lover, then, are you?’
    ‘I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody… ‘”
    I’ve been focusing on Atticus Finch primarily in my blogs and this is because I see him as very important in Scout’s life. I feel that this book is very much a coming of age novel and that he is very important to it. Scout frequently uses racial slurs in the book and I think that the way Atticus is different from all the other people in Maycomb is going to be a heavy part of how Scout is going to end up. I think the fact that he isn’t as ignorant or backwards as a lot of the other people we see is legitimately what this book is about: Scout growing up into a good individual.
    Another, thing I have to mention is a mention of Mockingbirds and the few sentences that are the namesake of this book.
    ‘…Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit ‘em, but
    remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.’
    That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I
    asked Miss Maudie about it.
    ‘Your father’s right,’ she said. ‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music
    for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they
    don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a
    mockingbird.'”
    This part clearly has relevance if the book is named for it. I think this reason is that it could be a metaphor for Tom Robinson. If he did not commit the crime he was accused of, than not hurting something that never did anything wrong and is misunderstood could refer to him and the mockingbird.

    Reply
  9. janem

    “… ‘-I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what. You rarely win, but sometimes you do. Mrs. Dubose won, all ninety-eight pounds of her. According to her views, she died beholden to nothing and nobody. She was the bravest person I ever knew.’” (p. 149)

    Throughout the first part of the book, Atticus has been encouraging Scout and Jem to do what felt right in their hearts, not what felt right standing with their peers. Mrs. Dubose was a mean woman, that would yell and scold Scout and Jem for anything she could think of, whether it was Scout’s overalls or Jem and Scout going into town alone. She would use Atticus’s court case against them, calling him a disgrace for helping someone that was discriminated in their town. Jem was so worked up that one day he destroyed Mrs. Dubose’s flowers. As a punishment, he had to read to her every afternoon. But after her death, Atticus was able to show the purpose of reading to Mrs. Dubose. Although she was mean, she struggled with using pain killers, and Atticus was able to prove his point of why Jem did the right thing. By Jem reading to her, he was able to ignore her mistakes and rise up to be a good person towards her. He would read to her every afternoon, despite knowing she would bully him. Atticus showed that one must be good towards all, despite any negativity from others. It is best to do what is morally right than to stand with your surroundings that are doing wrong, which is why Atticus took the Tom Robinson case.

    Reply
    1. MadiR

      I agree that Atticus is teaching Jem and Scout to do what feels right in their heart. I think that Atticus knows that people have both good and bad in them and that he admires the good and forgives and understands the bad.

      Reply
  10. Mikayla Friedman

    “‘You aren’t really a nigger-lover, then, are you?’”
    “‘I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody… I’m hard put, sometimes— baby, it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you. ’” (pp. 144-145)

    In this passage Scout is talking to Atticus about what it means to be a “nigger -lover.” This phrase is one that is used often in the book to describe Atticus, because he is defending a black man in court. It is meant to be a derogatory phrase to insult Atticus, and many people have told Scout her father is a nigger-lover, including Francis and Mrs. Dubose. When Scout asks Atticus if he is one, much to my initial surprise he responded yes. Looking back on this scene, I’m not so astonished that Atticus didn’t deny him being a nigger-lover. Like he says, he does his best to love everybody, regardless of the color of their skin, and this is very apparent in the way he acts and in the lessons he is constantly teaching his children. I do think Scout is surprised at her father’s response, because to her being called a nigger-lover is an insult. Atticus goes on to say not to be insulted when somebody calls you a ‘bad name,’ because if they do they are only insulting themselves.

    In this town, Atticus seems to be the only person who doesn’t discriminate against people of color. He is defending Tom Robinson in court, even though he knows the case is hopeless, as Tom Robinson is black and is going against an all-white jury. I believe Atticus’s morals will make a lasting impression of Scout and Jem, and I hope they will grow up to be supportive and understanding of people of all color, race, religion, etc.

    Reply
  11. Hannah Pitkofsky

    “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us to enjoy. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (p. 119)

    At this point in the novel, the people of Maycomb are blaming Boo for killing a mockingbird when he didn’t and did absolutely nothing wrong or even of that sort. Atticus was telling Scout that she shouldn’t kill a mockingbird because it doesn’t harm anyone or anything and that it just sings songs, yet people have the urge to kill it. The same applies to Boo. Boo is a caring character, yet people always blame him for whenever things go wrong. Boo’s character is completely misunderstood and, in my opinion, he doesn’t deserve all the blame that is thrown onto his back every time he leaves his house.

    Reply
    1. Hannah M.

      Great analysis! I was looking t this quote too. It was very interesting, but it annoys me that people think that Boo killed a mockingbird as well because we know he didn’t. Good job Hannah

      Reply
  12. MadiR

    “You haven’t forgot much, Mr. Finch. They say it never leaves you.”
    Atticus was silent. “Atticus?” said Jem. “Yes?”
    “Nothin‘.”
    “I saw that, One-Shot Finch!”
    Atticus wheeled around and faced Miss Maudie. They looked at one another without saying anything, and Atticus got into the sheriff’s car.(p.128)

    “Naw, Scout, it’s something you wouldn’t understand. Atticus is real old, but I wouldn’t care if he couldn’t do anything—I wouldn’t care if he couldn’t do a blessed thing.”(p. 131)

    This scene intrigued me, because throughout the whole novel Scout and Jem have seen their father as boring, old, and not able to do anything. In the remark by Jem it shows that Atticus has proven himself to his children. Jem no longer cares if his father has any talents, he is very proud of his father. The children were shocked when Heck Tate handed the gun to Atticus, who had not held one in years, and that he said that Atticus was the only one who could make the shot. Scout and Jem could not understand the whole situation until it was explained to them that their father was “One-Shot Finch”. I think Lee added this scene into the novel because the reader can now form a thought in their mind that Atticus is the only one standing in-between Maycomb and danger. The rabid dog stands for racial prejudice and when it comes to the trial Atticus will be the only one who can defend Maycomb. The mad-dog scene proves that Atticus is a fearless yet calm, intelligent, and wise character.

    Reply
    1. Sophie

      I like your comparison about the dog and the trial. I didn’t even think of that, but now I totally agree! I also like how you worded “Atticus is the only one standing in between Maycomb and danger”.

      Reply
  13. Hannah M.

    Something I found interesting in tonight’s reading was the way Jem reacted to Mrs.Dubose’s comment. The comment Mrs.Dubose made was pretty rude and offensive. Jem overeacted to her comment and destroyed all of Mrs.Dubose’s camellia bushes! The comment didn’t pretain to Jem, but the uncalled for comment was towards Atticus which furiated Jem. This shows the bond between Atticus and Jem and that Jem protects Atticus. Atticus, in jems eyes, is “the perfect man”. Atticus puts his heart and soul into everything he does and he tries his best to succeed. Atticus is a role model to Jem because Jem wants to be just like him.

    Reply
  14. Sophie

    “Scout,” said Atticus, “nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything—like snot-nose. It’s hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It’s slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.” (p. 144)

    Atticus has truly been coming across as not only a smart, caring, and selfless father, but really a good hearted person. He would never do anything in the wrong, and he seems like one of those people who you trust and want to be around. Nature vs nurture has been a really important thing to think about when analyzing characters, and Scout and Jem’s nurturer is going to have a big impact on them. Atticus has taught them so many valuable lessons such as empathy, pride, and respect, and even though Scout and Jem may have grown up in an motherless family situation they got just as much lesson learning from one parent as anyone else with two parents. I think the above paragraph shows one of Atticus’ many parental guiding moments that are important to Scout’s life and the novel as a whole.

    Reply
  15. Sunna

    “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us to enjoy. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (page 119)

    This passage intrigued me because this seems to be some sort of foreshadowing. This is not only the title of the book, but also a reference to Boo, since everyone thinks that he killed a mockingbird. This seems to be extremely important to the story and will most likely be brought up again. It was similar in Great Expectations when fire was repeatedly brought up, and was quite important to the story.

    Reply
    1. Zoe

      I totally agree that this quote has a lot to do with the story since t=it is partly about the title. Great analysis, this will definitely be brought up again.

      Reply
  16. Casey

    “I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody… I’m hard put, sometimes— baby, it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you. So don’t let Mrs. Dubose get you down. She has enough troubles of her own.”

    This conversation between Scout and Atticus caught my attention for multiple reasons. This passage reveals a lot about Atticus’s character. From this section, we can see that he does what’s right and is a caring person. This conversation occurred after Scout and Jem returned home from Mrs. Dubose’s house. Scout was confused because Mrs. Dubose would call Atticus some very hurtful names, and Atticus wasn’t offended at all. Atticus explains to Scout the he is in fact what Mrs. Dubose called him. He explains that he loves everyone. Equality seems to be an important thing to Atticus, and a theme so far in the novel. He also gives Scout very helpful advice for when people are rude to you or call you names. He told her not to let anything people say hurt her, because it’s only a an insult from their perspective.

    Reply
    1. trinityt

      I agreed! Atticus is the type of person that do things he believe is right. He doesn’t care about others’ opinions of him, race or any like that. Atticus is a kind-hearted man who believes in equality for all.

      Reply
  17. trinityt

    But Mrs. Dubose held us: “Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggers!”
    Jem stiffened. Mrs. Dubose’s shot had gone home and she knew it:
    “Yes indeed, what has this world come to when a Finch goes against his raising? I’ll tell you!” She put her hand to her mouth. When she drew it away, it trailed a long silver thread of saliva. “Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for!” (p.135)

    This passage is significant because it causes Jem to do something that he doesn’t usually do and doesn’t normally reacted that way. It shows more about Jem’s character. Usually, Jem is the calm type, but because of what Mrs. Dubose said about Atticus, he became furious. So furious to the point that he destroyed her flowers. It’s clear that Mrs. Dubose had touched a nerve on Jem based on the way he reacted to her words towards Atticus. Jem sees Atticus as a father figured and a role model, and therefore, Jem respects Atticus very much. So the reason that Jem destroyed Mrs. Dubose’s flowers was because of what she said about Atticus, and not because it has any effect on him, but because of Atticus. This shows that the character of Jem respects Atticus very much and would be furious if anyone insults him.

    Reply
    1. Brishti Sarkar

      I agree with your analysis and I like how you said how this is out of respect for Atticus, and I think that Atticus wouldn’t like this behavior at all.

      Reply
  18. Brishti Sarkar

    “This case, Tom Robinson’s case, is something that goes to the essence of a man’s conscience– Scout, I couldn’t go to church and worship God if I didn’t try to help that man.” (p. 139)

    This passage struck me as very interesting because it showed how unlike many other characters in this novel, Atticus is not affected by the words of other people, and it also shows how he is independent in choosing his own morals. Even Scout and Jem act out to defend their father, but Atticus only wishes for them to leave the case alone. While Atticus may be old, he is one of the wisest characters in this novel. Throughout an abundance of works of literature, the characters are shown to make important moral choices. Here, we do not know Atticus’s full past, but we can see how the words of others have no effect on making his moral choices. Although he might not be the most impressive or showy father, he certainly is a good role model for Scout and Jem, and he has a clear conscience. He does not show any prejudice towards people of color, despite that nearly everyone else in Maycomb County gossip about him and call him a “nigger-lover” for taking on the case of Tom Robinson. He believes that everyone should have an equal chance, as shown when he says that he couldn’t worship God if he didn’t help him. Another thing that makes him so wise is the fact that he still tries his best, even though he knows he already lost. He says that, “It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what,” (p.149). Despite all of the hatred he gets for taking on the case, he proves to be persistent in working towards his goals with a clear conscience and a level head.

    Reply
  19. Zoe

    “Naw, Scout, it’s something you wouldn’t understand. Atticus is real old, but I
    wouldn’t care if he couldn’t do anything — I wouldn’t care if he couldn’t do a
    blessed thing. Jem picked up a rock and threw it jubilantly at the carhouse. Running after it, he called back: “Atticus is a gentleman, just like me!”

    This paragraph stood out to me mostly because it seemed like a reoccurring theme that had been said many times by Jem. Jem likes to repeat a lot how Scout is very different from gentleman or how she should be one or that she is too girlish and acting ” more like a girl every day.” Although it’s only a small and nonimportant thing Jem says, it still seemed important to me. As the story progressed, it seemed more and more to me like Jem was very protective to Scout. Even for this quote, he takes note of the current situation of the village of Maycomb and the case coming up where everyone is already against Tom and notices how easy the town can turn on someone. In a way, telling scout to be more of a gentleman or letting her know what gentleman do and think could prevent Scout from joining groups and becoming more “girlish” or even more like the rest of the village. Jem is partly telling Scout not just to be a gentleman but really to follow his lead and become what he is. This quote offers another viewpoint into the relationship between Scout and Jem which could potentially become very important to the story.

    Reply
  20. angelicac1

    “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corncribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us to enjoy. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”(p. 119)

    As it did for others, this paragraph appeared to me as something that was incredibly significant. The first noticeable thing about this particular paragraph is the obvious reference of the title of this novel. When the title of a book was referenced it was automatic for me to think that the reference was hinting something that has a great significance to the story. For a while, I paused to think and interpret how this passage held a meaning. I believe that the “mockingbird” that was referenced, definitely holds a stronger meaner and that it symbolizes maybe some of the characters in this novel, but I’m not quite sure if the “mockingbird” actually symbolizes that.

    Reply
  21. maxwellw

    “Your father’s right. Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens; they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” (pg.119)

    The adversity faced by the family reveals Atticus’s parenting style, his focus on instilling moral values in Jem and Scout. Particularly important to Atticus are justice, restraint, and honesty. He tells his children to avoid getting in fights, even if they are verbally abused, and to practice quiet courage instead. When he gives Jem and Scout air rifles as presents, he advises them that it is a sin to kill a Mockingbird. This idea is, of course, the source of the novel’s title, and it reflects the book’s preoccupation with injustices inflicted upon innocents. In different ways, Jem and Scout, Boo Radley, and Tom Robinson are all “mockingbirds.”

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  22. Maddie

    “We had just come to her gate when Jem snatched my baton and ran flaily wildly up the steps to Mrs. Dubose’s front yard, forgetting everything Atticus had said, forgetting that she packed a pistol under her shawls, forgetting that if Mrs. Dubose missed, her girl Jessie probably wouldn’t.”

    I found this passage significant because ever since Atticus told Jem to just be a gentleman, that is all he’d done. This one day, however, Jem had had enough. He went completely crazy, cutting off the heads of all Mrs. Dubose’s flowers, and then snapping Scout’s brand new baton in half. This shows the bad result that can come when you keep your feelings bottled up too long.

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  23. josepha4

    “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for s to enjoy. They don’t eat up people’s gardens, don’t nest in corn cribs, they don’t do one thing but sing their hearts out for us to enjoy. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird”

    When the meaning of the mockingbird is described I stopped and wondered what some other meaning it could have other than it’s reference to the title. When it’s said that all they do is benefit other’s I immediately thought of an innocent thing that does no evil. Maybe the Mocking bird is the innocent Black man, Tom Robinson, Atticus is defending. He may have just been minding his business not harming anybody and then because of his color, a person decides to accuse him of a crime he didn’t commit

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