Good Parenting Style in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird

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What defines a good parent? Who defines a good parenting style? Society, through parenting books and magazines, has discussed this at length, and there are obviously varied opinions. There are certain attributes that are generally used consistently to define a good parenting style. It is not discipline or respect, but the characteristics that stand out for a good parent are trust, love, listening and understanding. Love gives confidence and makes people what they want to be. In Harper Lee’s book “To Kill a Mockingbird”, these key attributes are used to define the parenting style of Atticus, the father of the 2 children, Jem and Scout. I believe that the author has defined a good parent as someone who loves his/her children unconditionally, communicates openly with them, someone who is there for them, some one who teaches good morals and values, and someone who shows them right from wrong. Harper Lee has intelligently demonstrated these characteristics by contrasting the parenting styles of Atticus (the good parent) vs. Bob Ewell, who plays the role of the antagonist in the book, and is portrayed as a bad parent. Both of these men are single parents, and the book therefore does not have much opportunity to view the role of the mother in the upbringing of the children. To illustrate this, the author has cleverly used the examples of 2 women, Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandra, to share her thoughts on the importance of a woman’s role in a child’s life. Though these women
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