The hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it

The way parents treat their children shapes their personality.  Atticus Finch treats his child Scout in a positive and mature manner. He is able to be the important father figure she needs, while teaching her invaluable life lessons on the way.”To Kill A Mockingbird” is a fictional story written by Harper Lee, that uses esoteric diction and realistic dialogue to portray how parents shape their child’s personality. In the book Lee uses diction to help develop the plot. Also she uses diction in a way that helps the reader understand what lesson Atticus is trying to teach. “Scout,” said Atticus, “nigger-lover is just one of those terms that don’t mean anything—like snot-nose. It’s hard to explain—ignorant, trashy people use it when they think somebody’s favoring Negroes over and above themselves. It’s slipped into usage with some people like ourselves, when they want a common, ugly term to label somebody.””You aren’t really a nigger-lover, then, are you?””I certainly am. I do my best to love everybody… I’m hard put, sometimes—baby, it’s never an insult to be called what somebody thinks is a bad name. It just shows you how poor that person is, it doesn’t hurt you.” (Lee 108). This epic instance of dialogue between Atticus and Scout is a perfect example of how Atticus teaches Scout in a mature way. Where Atticus  he proposes that she critically think to understand what he is really talking about.that she will understand. Atticus proves to us that he is least affected by prejudice. Instead of berading on her for using the word “nigger” he shows her that if someone swears at you they are showing how “poor” the person is. Even though it’s an awful term, Atticus shows Scout how you should love people and how derogatory words like those don’t have to hurt you. It shows us, the readers, that Atticus really is an excellent father and his way of teaching his children is spectacular.  What Atticus says could also be implemented into our lives. Not only does this instance propel the plot giving yet another lesson to Scout, it connects to the reader on a deep level. As a matter of fact, Lee connects to the readers in more than one way. She uses intense imagery to help Atticus teach Scout lessons. For instance in the story Atticus and Scout talk about mockingbirds. “‘Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird’ That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. ‘Your father’s right,’ she said. ‘Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy . . . but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.'” (Lee 90). In this instance of the book, Lee is foreshadowing what is to come later but thus again, Atticus teaches Scout another lesson on life with dialogue. From this excerpt as a reader, it automatically assimilates into our minds that mockingbirds are wonderful creatures of nature. That they shouldn’t be killed because all they do is “make music for us to enjoy”. By including this piece of dialogue, she isn’t referencing mockingbirds. She is actually trying to provide an example for Boo Radley and Tom Robinson. I think what Atticus is teaching Scout here is the strong latin phrase “Parva sub ingenti”. Or in other words the moral obligation to protect the vulnerable. For instance Atticus decides to take Tom Robinson’s case even though he knew it would not end well. Just as the same obligation helped Jem to protect a roly-poly from Scout’s hand. To summarize, Harper Lee uses extraordinary realistic dialogue to help propel the plot and foreshadow what is to come.  In To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee uses Atticus in a particular way through diction. She conveys Atticus as this well educated, successful man who is an excellent parent. For example in the courthouse during Tom Robinson’s trial Atticus says, “But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal–there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court. It can be the Supreme Court of the United States or the humblest J.P. court in the land, or this honorable court which you serve. Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution, but in this country our courts are the great levelers, and in our courts all men are created equal.”(Lee 205). This excerpt from Atticus truly shows how educated and great a man he is. In his very first sentence, he knows that the people of Maycomb county are racist, and have intense prejudice. But he tries to make everyone see from the same perspective. This also ties in with imagery because he once said to Scout to try and see things from their point of view. Then he contrasts Rockefeller and Einstein to the typical person.  Which is one great tycoon mind who was one of the main leaders in the industrial revolution. And an absolute genius who revolutionized advancements in mathematics. He states it in a way that portrays that you could be equal to them. He goes on and talks about courts and how they are where all men are equal, but what really stands out is when he says, “Our courts have their faults, as does any human institution.” What Atticus is trying to do is sway the judge and the people into a certain mindset. He’s trying to persuade everyone that Tom Robinson is innocent. This instance from the book is a great example of how articulate, well thought out, and educated southern gentleman Atticus is. Now think to yourself, if the parents are well educated and smart, then doesn’t that mean the kids would be smart as well? An instance where Scout demonstrates her intelligence from Atticus is when at the courthouse by analyzing the jury’s behavior she knows the verdict before Judge Taylor reads it aloud. Also when scout is analyzing everything that’s going on in the courthouse and says “So far, things were utterly dull: nobody had thundered, there were no arguments between opposing counsel, there was no drama; a grave disappointment to all present, it seemed. Atticus was proceeding amiably, as if he were involved in a title dispute. With his infinite capacity for calming turbulent seas, he could make a rape case as dry as a sermon.” (Lee 169). Scout who is really young shows us her mastery of judgement. What second grader do you know that can analyze a court case and even fathom whats going on, and use extraordinary vocabulary and funny metaphors. In addition to this, it show the readers that Scout is intelligent like her dad who is very articulate and always has well thought out things to say. What really stands out is when she uses vocabulary such as turbulent,amiably,dispute and grave. In conclusion these are perfect examples that show she’s well educated and very intelligent like her father. Throughout the book Harper Lee’s use of dialogue and diction shows us the reader that parents truly affect their kids personalities. Atticus teaches Scout multiple ways and multiple times through amazing dialogue and diction. He even instills some life long lessons into her. Don’t you think the way we were raised develops our personalities and the way we treat others?