Theme Of Self-Control In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Self-control is the keys to the kingdom when it comes to creating strong morals in children, and the ability to control oneself can create compassion and prevent prejudice. In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Bob Ewell and Atticus each have and teach their kids different degrees of self-control and morals. Bob Ewell takes little care of himself or his children and they all display hostility towards others. In contrast, Atticus Finch teaches his children to be empathetic and understanding of others.

Bob Ewell is a poor, drunken outcast of Maycomb and raises several motherless children. His family “had been the disgrace of Maycomb for three generations” (Lee, 40) and Atticus doesn’t recall them doing “an honest day’s work” (Lee, 40). The Ewells “were people, but they lived like animals” (Lee, 41) and this evidently shown in Bob Ewell’s son, Burris. Scout Finch described Burris as the “filthiest human being I had ever seen” (Lee, 35) and he acts inimically towards the adults at the school including Miss Caroline and the truant lady. In addition, Mr. Ewell’s eldest daughter, Mayella, displayed hostility and fear towards Atticus during the Tom Robinson case. She feels mocked by Atticus when he referred to her as
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In one end of the spectrum, Mr. Ewell does not show any self-control nor did his children and this causes the Ewell family to be filled with prejudice and hatred towards almost everyone. The lack of self-control in the family will continue to plague them with misery and crime. On the other hand, Atticus Finch uses self-control appropriately and successfully educated his “children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will” (Benjamin Franklin). In teaching his children to have self-control and a strong willpower, Atticus helped to lessen “the misery from their future” (Benjamin
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