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Atticus's Defense In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Atticus wants to send Jem to court because he doesn’t want to hide anything. As stated on page 273, if he did Atticus fears that Jem would have to deal rumors such as that Atticus paid to get Jem out of the situation. So, he’d rather be open about what happened and let the situation be put to rest. He also wants to teach Jem and Scout that they should take responsibility for their actions. He does not want the kid to not be able to trust him, their father and role model, because if they can’t trust him he can’t expect them to trust anyone else. He believes it is in the best interest of himself and his children to have Jem got to court and explain the murder of Bob Ewell was an act of self
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