Topic 1: Why does Atticus allow his children to call him Atticus? What does this say about him?

Topic 1: Why does Atticus allow his children to call him Atticus?  What does this say about him?

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Atticus allows his children to call him by his name to set a sort of friendship and familiarity between him and the children. This says that his character wants to be a father and a friend to them. To explain this further when one calls another person by "father" or"mother" they will only know that person as such. But when one calls one by their name they are able to find out who this person is, what they are and who they are not just "mother" or "father". Atticus is like this because in the story you can see that the children admire him and look up to him but at the same time get along with him and speak to him as a friend. The children try to find out who "Atticus" is rather than just their "father". They want to find out everything they can about him but they are also comfortable with him. This says that by allowing his children to call him Atticus he allows them to know him as a friend and a father.To illuminate this further in the book To Kill A Mockingbird in chapter 30 when Heck Tate and Atticus were talking about Bob Ewells death and Tate wanted to keep it private and Atticus refuses and says "Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I've tried to live so I can look squarely back at him...if I connived at something like this, frankly I couldn't meet his eye, and the day I can't do that I'll know I've lost him. I don't want to lose him and Scout, because they're all I've got."(Lee 196). This shows how much Atticus cares for his kids, how important they are to him and close they are and they've set this relationship and friendliness by calling him "Atticus" rather than father. For example if the story had gone and used father instead of Atticus we would never really know who Atticus is but we would know him as father. By making him known as Atticus we know who he is and we try to find out who he is. This reasoning is also behind why Atticus allows his children to call him by his name. He wants to let his kids be close to him, to know him and to look up to him this is why he allows his kids to call him Atticus rather than father. This says alot about his character and how wise he is as one. By letting his kids call him Atticus they become close and get an inseparable bond. That is why he let's his kids call him Atticus.

I agree with you. Scout and Jem are seen to look at Atticus for advice throughout the book. Children have a hard time talking to their parents about things that happen in their lives, but Scout and Jem are seen to actually go and talk to him. I believe this is because Atticus does not draw any lines when it comes to his children. They treat him like anyone else and vice versa. They are comfortable around him and are able to talk to him about their problems. Atticus is a smart man, so he would know what is good for his children and what is not.  Them calling him by his name is not a form of disrespect, but a way for them to be closer to him. Not only that, but his children understand that he IS their father, even if they don’t call him as such. In the beginning of To Kill a Mockingbird, on the first page, Scout says “Our father said we were both right” (Lee3). Though the quote by itself doesn’t make sense in this context, the word ‘father’ is the thing to pay attention to. Scout obviously understands that Atticus is her father, even though she doesn’t call him that. He is someone that could help lead them in the right direction, even without the title ‘Father’. 

I agree with you Malri because Atticus wants to become friends with his kids. Atticus also wants to become a role model for his kids. And he wants to be a mentor for his kids not somebody they are afraid of. Also he treats everybody the same so that his kids can learn from him. In the book To Kill A Mocking Bird Harper Lee says "Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets"(Lee46). This quote shows that Atticus treats everybody with respect. And that he treats everybody equally as a way of him becoming a mentor for his kids. Thus, Atticus treats his kids like they are his friends so that he can become a mentor for them. And so that he can be a person that they look up to. 

Atticus allows his children Scout and Jem to call him by his first name instead of what children usually call there fathers, "dad" because it is more informal, it shows that Atticus encourages equality inside the household, and outside the household with the job of being a lawyer. Atticus gives his children personal freedom and independence because he's a lawyer and he knows how inequality feels like since he defends Tom Robinson, an innocent black who he risks his reputation just to save. Furthermore, Atticus doesn't consider himself better than anyone else, even his children whom he doesn't hit or punish even when they misbehave. By calling Atticus by his first name, it makes the kids feel closer to there father because it doesn't show age difference or any difference at all. We all have been taught to call our parents "Mom" or "dad" to be formal. But i think what Atticus wants is to be informal with his children to show them that there is no difference between them whatsoever. One way to show that Atticus shows justice and inequality with his children is by showing how he reacts to fights between Jem who is older than Scout by about four years. It would be very easy for Atticus to tell Scout that she has to mind her older brother whenever an adult isn't around, but he doesn't do that. In chapter 14, Jem attempts to tell Scout how to behave, which enrages Scout. She throws a few punches that provoke Jem into fighting with her. When Atticus comes in to break up the fight, Scout says that Jem was trying to tell her what to do. Scout asks her father, "I don't have to mind him now, do I?" (Lee 138). Atticus smiles and tells Scout something that she uses later to counter her brother's attempt to boss her around,"Let's leave it at this: you mind Jem whenever he can make you. Fair enough?" (Lee 138).A parent might say that this response only sets the children up for future fights; however, Atticus shows that he does not base his decision on who is older—he bases it on equality. This way, Jem is unable to gain more control over Scout in the future by saying, "I'm older, and a boy, so you have to obey me" whenever he chooses. Atticus protects Scout as a female and as a younger sibling. This also gives the children power to solve problems between themselves on fair ground, which is groundbreaking in many families. Atticus Finch is man that shows integrity & equality with everyone around him, mostly his children.

I wholeheartedly agree with what you are trying to convey. It is truly explicit that Atticus allows his children to call him by his first name to show equality between the three individuals and to not transcend a barrier between them. Atticus truly believes that age, reputation, and bias have nothing to do with the unity of individuals. Of course, in order to transcend the barriers of being "above all" one must convey that he is equal to his own children. To Atticus, being a "father" does not make him higher towards his children, but still an equal, which shows why he would allow them to call him by his first name. Being called a "father" only to his children would show that he is still the adult and the one in charge, whilst the use of his first name conveys a friendliness and unity towards all, even his children. This demonstrates equality not just through racism, but by parental superiority. Atticus shows this equality in many cases as well, similar to what you have been saying. For example, when Atticus admitted his feelings towards defending a black man, simply because it was the right thing to do at a time where it seemed so wrong, "I have to defend Tom Robinson because it’s the right thing to do. I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t do the right thing. Even though other people might think I’m wrong for defending a black man, I know that it’s right." (Lee, 27). This quote shows how although society deemed Tom Robinson to be wrong due to his race, Atticus believed otherwise. He demonstrated equality by risking his reputation and his family's honor to defend a black man. To Atticus, equality was embedded deep into his soul, enough to sacrifice all of these things, for the life of an individual which was worth "nothing" to the society his family and him lived in. That is why I feel as though your argument is true, due to the fact that Atticus defines equality not only towards race, but towards his family as well.

    Atticus allows his children to call him by his first name to teach them to respect everyone not based upon their position in society, but their character and actions. When you call someone by their first name, you are showing they are of equal position or a peer meaning you are not superior to them. When you call someone " dad " or " Mrs. " for example, it means they are superior to you and something they may do incorrectly, you cannot acknowledge because you cannot disobey them due to their position. Atticus wants his children to find him equal to them and know him as their friend so they are comfortable with him in present day and in the future for anything they want to talk to him about. Atticus doesn't want them to respect him because he's their father, he wants them to respect him because he acts in a way that deserves respect from his actions and character. This allows them to have trust in him and look to him for guidance and wisdom. This makes the children more willing to listen to him and his wise words because he is their friend and shows he's empathetic for them. This makes the relationship between Jem, Scout, and Atticus friendly and open-hearted so nothing is held back and mistakes can be pointed out and fixed without judgment. To illuminate this point further, here is a quote from the book To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, "Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets" ( Lee 46). This is showing how Atticus respects everyone, whether they are his children, his neighbors, etc. He is a man of his word, and his word is the same for his own family and others. He takes the place where justice resides out of sheer dignity and respect to set an example for his children. This shows how Atticus is using the same moral with not allowing his children to call him " father ", because he is not two-faced meaning he wears one face at home and another in public. This respect and familiarity for Atticus allows his children to see he is equal to them and that they can open their hearts and share all their feelings to him so he can guide them the right way, instead of them restraining from opening up due to the fact of him being superior to them so they don't know the judgments he will make. Atticus only has one word and one character everywhere proving/ setting an example for his children to show them they must respect people based upon their actions and character, not their superiority or position in society.

I agree because Atticus is a man of integrity and he wants to be seen this way, he wants to be seen for what he really is not for his place in society. Atticus allows his children to call him by has first so they will have no limits and they will see Atticus as Atticus not as dad, so they can feel free taking to him and asking him for advice because of what he is not because he's their father. Atticus wants to be seen at home how he is seen outside - not as a family member but as a man of character. To further explain, Harper Lee the author of To Kill A Mockingbird states, "Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets" ( Lee 46). This explains that Atticus is not any different on the street than he is at home which can show how equal both places are to him. Also it could mean that Atticus is comfortable being who he is and they fact that he's the same outside as inside shows that he is proud of what he is and what he does so he wants to be seen by it at all times.

Atticus likes to be the same person inside and outside of his house. This is the only time i have seen kids call there dad by their name. I believe he gives them the option of choosing between dad and Atticus. He may like to be called Atticus because he acts the same everywhere. In the book To Kill A Mocking Bird Harper Lee says "Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets"(Lee, 46). This quote proves why Atticus likes his children to call him by his name because out of the house people call him Atticus so if he's the same in both outside and inside then people in his house have to call him Atticus.This is why i believe Scout and Jem call their dad Atticus.

I agree and disagree! First, i do believe that Atticus does act the same privately and publicly becasue for one, he has intergretity and two, he believes everyone is equal, but being the same doesnt really mean you "have to call him Atticus". I think someone can be the same towards anyone and still be called "father" or "mother" by their kids, but the way Atticus raises his kids is diffrent then others. In a way i think its so much better because it opens the kids minds to many other things that "normal parents" cant do very easily. Yes, i said normal parents because i dont think he is an average father--i mean he was LEGIT the only white that defended a black.... Instead i think he may let his kids call him father because he wants them to truely believe no one is different. And the best way he thinks he could teach them that is probably by letting his children call him 'Atticus"--so he allows them to. He obviously does this because he knows what he does influence the kids more than anyone could because the kids look up to him. In the book To kill A Mockingbird Atticus says to Heck Tate while talking about Boo Radely killing Bob Ewell " When mine are grown, I'll be an old man if I'm still around, but right now I'm--if they dont trust me they won't trust anybody"(Lee274). This perfectly explains that He knows what he does affects the kids the most so he tries anything in his power to be a good influence to them when they grow older and to open their midsets by defending a black no matter the consequence and the risks.

I definitely agree with Searcher. Atticus is trying to show that his kids are the same as everybody else. Harper Lee says "if this thing's hushed up it'll be a simple denial to Jem of the way I've tried to raise him"(Lee,273). Atticus thinks that Jem killed Bob Ewells and wants to take Jem to trail. Even though he is his son he does not care he still wants to take him to trail so people don't say he is biased toward family. This is why I believe Atticus is the same inside and outside of his house because he acts the same to everyone.  

I disagree with you the best because Atticus doesn't give his kids an option. Atticus doesn't want to treat Jem and Scout as a Father. He wants to become a role model for them. So Atticus let his kids call him by his name as a way of respect. Also he lets them call him by his name so that his kids can look up to him. In the text To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus says "before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me" (Lee196). This evidence shows that Atticus is a role model for his kids. Also it shows that he wants Jem to become a person like him. All in all, Atticus let his kids call him by his name so that he can be a role model for his kids. And so that his kids can grow and become a better person than him.    

Atticus allows his children to call him Atticus because he wants to receive their respect by working for it through his choice of action. Moreover, he does not want his children to respect him because he is an adult or because he is their father but because he does what is right. Furthermore, Atticus thinks that calling him "father" is a way of showing respect but it is not earned so he wants to earn their respect in another way. In addition, Atticus thinks that letting his children call him by his name will make them feel comfortable enough to go to him when they need help because it shows that they are of equal significance. In chapter 30 of "To Kill A Mockingbird", Atticus says, "Before Jem looks at anyone else he looks at me, and I've tried to live so I can look squarely back at him . . . if I connived at something like this, frankly I couldn't meet his eye, and the day I can't do that I'll know I've lost him. I don't want to lose him and Scout, because they're all I've got."(Lee 273). From this evidence one can conclude that Atticus thought if he secretly allowed Heck Tate to make it seem like Bob Ewell fell on his knife and killed himself instead of saying that Jem killed him, then that would make him dishonest and he would not be doing what is right. Clearly, Atticus feels that he will lose Jem and Scout's respect because he is no longer making the right choices. Thus, Atticus's children respect him because he is a righteous man and they call him by his name because respect is not in the name a person goes by but in the actions a person chooses to make.



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