Critical Thinking

What cared for. “She says she never kissed

What is your relationship like with your parents? In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird a lot of people wonder about how Atticus is raising his kids. Whether Atticus is raising them right or wrong. Jem and Scout have a strong relationship with their dad but does everyone like how he does things? Every family is different and Atticus’s hands-off way is different but it’s what works best for the family. When there is a relationship and a bond like the Finch’s, one has to wonder how Atticus is when he has to teach them about life. Their bond is so strong because Atticus is a smart, respectful educator to them. Comparing to the Finch’s, there are other examples of different family relationships in the novel. Chapter one says, “Jem and I found our father satisfactory: he played with us, read to us, and treated us with courteous detachment.” (page 6) This example from the text states that although Atticus lets his children grow up without him having a say in everything they do, he is still a loving father who spends time with his children and cares about their feelings and choices. Atticus lets his children learn from their mistakes and only threatens punishment but later admits that he never actually does. Some people think this way of parenting is too nice or not right because of lack of discipline when really Jem and Scout learn about respect when Atticus shows respect to his kids like he does to everyone else. Mayella and Bob Ewell’s relationship, however, is very different. The novel implies that Mayella was probably beaten and possibly sexually abused by her own father because he is a drunken and angry man. She acts as the responsible parent in the house, making sure the children get fed and are cared for. “She says she never kissed a grown man before an’ she might as well kiss a nigger. She says what her papa do to her don’t count,” (page 194) Tom Robinson testified this talking about Mayella and her actions towards him. Mayella doesn’t recognize a positive and  healthy relationship because she doesn’t have one. When the trial comes around she does the only thing she knows how to do, and that is doing what her father tells her to. In the novel the Finch family’s relationship and parenting style is different from the Ewell family because Bob Ewell does not care like Atticus does. Atticus Finch does not talk down to his kids and never lies to them. Jem and Scout get to grow up learning and preparing for adulthood. Mayella Ewell is unfortunately stuck in a very unhappy relationship with her father and doesn’t know what love means. Their family is quoted as the “disgrace of Maycomb for three generations.” (page 30) Mayella has never really had anyone to look up to but as for Jem and Scout they have a perfect role model as how to act and treat people with proper respect. In conclusion, in the story To Kill A Mockingbird the relationships of the two families vary in differences. Atticus teaches wisdom and Bob teaches dishonor. Atticus loves his children deeply and teaches them right from wrong like every parent should. Bob Ewell does not do this. He has hurt Mayella emotionally and physically and has taught her nothing but how to be discouraged. So when you consider the relationship you want to have with your parents think about Atticus and Bob Ewell.

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