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Tolerance Comes into Play

Tolerance is a good virtue to own, without it there is no way to succeed. To Kill a Mockingbird is a great novel written by Harper Lee. In this book, a great deal of tolerance is shown by Atticus. His tolerance is shown especially in the town, when dealing with his kids and when talking to Aunt Alexandra.

The theme of tolerance is shown by Atticus when he is in the town. Many of the town’s people give Atticus a hard time because he is defending a black in court and he is white. There is a white person against the black yet Atticus is defending the black person, and that is what makes some people give him a hard time. In a quote from the book: “Your father’s no better than the Niger’s and trash he works for,” said Mrs. Dubose to Scout. People just like Mrs. Dubose talk behind Atticus and also say mean or hateful things about him because he is defending a black. Although they say all this stuff he has enough tolerance and does not fight back nor say mean and/or hateful things towards them. He uses his self-control (tolerance) and lets them talk. He expresses in the book that, people can talk and say but you do not have to do anything about it. Atticus just lets it pass by him. This is one way he shows tolerance in the book.

The theme of tolerance is shown by Atticus, when he is dealing with his kids. His two kids, Scout (girl) and Jem (boy), do get into mischief. And when they do he deals with it calmly and rationally. A quote dealing with this particular incident were he is talking to Scout is: “Let’s get this clear: you do as Calpurnia tells you, you do as I tell you, and as long as your aunt’s in the house you do as she tells you. Understand?” Atticus says this to Scout after she mouthed off at Aunt Alexandra. He calmly and rationally dealt with the situation then moved on. He didn’t yell, hit, or argue, just simply stated the obvious. He shows a lot of tolerance when dealing with Scout and her stubborn ways. He does the same with Jem (Jeremy) as well. He treats his kids with respect as if they were adults. He does hot argue he says what he wants and if there is a conflict he walks away from it. Jem and Scout may make him mad sometimes but he treats them how he wants them to treat their peers. He shows a lot of tolerance when dealing with his kids.

The theme tolerance is also shown when Atticus is talking to Aunt Alexandra. Aunt Alexandra argues with people a lot, especially about the

way he is raising his kids or how she wants things to be done in a certain way. Obviously if you argue to a person about how they are raising their children or doing something they have done the same way for a long time, it is going to make the parents mad. Aunt Alexandra does this to Atticus a lot and he does get mad but he holds his anger in and shows a lot of tolerance. This is shown in a quote from the book: “Atticus’s voice was even: ‘Alexandra, Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn’t have got along without her all these years…” Atticus said this to his sister, Aunt Alexandra, after she says to Atticus that she wants Calpurnia to leave the house since she (Alexandra) can take care of the kids. And there is no need to have Calpurnia in the house if she is not needed and just taking up space. Atticus was very mad when she said that, but he rationally told her no, and he did not yell. He kept his voice normal. He shows a tremendous amount of self-control over yelling at her and a tremendous amount of tolerance to not get to the point were he needs to yell and scream at her. Atticus has a lot of tolerance when talking to Aunt Alexandra.

When in the town, when dealing with his kids, and when talking to Aunt Alexandra, Atticus shows that the theme of tolerance is present in To Kill a Mockingbird. Atticus does not yell at his kids or Aunt Alexandra. He also does not pick fights with the town’s people who talk behind his back. He shows a lot of tolerance throughout the entire book.


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