Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird. Reading Responses

Reading Response 6.1 (To Kill a Mockingbird chs 26-30): In Ch. 30 Atticus and Sheriff Tate confront each other on the porch of Atticus’ house. We are again compelled to compare role models for ethical behavior—this time Atticus and the Sheriff. We are also compelled to question both of Atticus’ rules for ethical behavior ((1) walk around in another person’s shoes before you judge them, & 2) always behave the same inside your house as you do outside of it.)). The 1st rule is challenged by the Sheriff’s comment (in Ch. 29) that “there’s just some kind of men you have to shoot before you can say hidy to ‘em.” (he is talking about Bob Ewell). Atticus 2nd rule is challenged by the Sheriff’s decision about how he wants to handle Bob Ewell’s death—a decision that Atticus eventually accepts. Discuss in what ways the Sheriff’s way of handling Bob Ewell’s killing challenges Atticus’ 2nd rule (is it sometimes necessary to lie and be hypocritical for a greater good)?

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