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Give an account of the episode in which Atticus shoots a mad dog, beginning at the point where the dog is first sighted by Jem

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Introduction

Ques. Give an account of the episode in which Atticus shoots a mad dog, beginning at the point where the dog is first sighted by Jem. In what ways are the reactions of Jem and Scout to this episode similar and in what ways do they differ? (20 marks) Ans. For a child courage is most often correlated with some overt physical act which involves personal danger. It is very difficult for them to see that greater courage is often required in other aspects of life. Scout and Jem learn that great courage can be found in the most unexpected situations and people. Jem and Scout have always been bothered by the fact that Atticus is much older than the fathers of their friends. What's more, Atticus doesn't do any of the things that the other fathers seem to enjoy. He never goes hunting or fishing; he even excuses himself from playing tackle football with Jem on the grounds that he is too old for such games. ...read more.

Middle

Jem spots a mad dog heading for the street where the Finches live. The dog's odd behavior shows that it has rabies, a disease that is fatal, not just to the animal but to a person bitten by it. Calpurnia orders the children indoors and alerts the neighborhood. Soon the sheriff, Heck Tate, arrives with Atticus. But when the moment comes to shoot the dog, the sheriff hands his rifle over to Atticus, with the comment that Atticus is the only marksman who could be sure to put the animal out of its misery safely with a single shot. This is the first hint the children have ever had that their father was once known as "One-Shot Finch," the best hunter in Maycomb County. Through Tim Johnson, Jem and Scout gain further insight into their father. To their delight, Jem and Scout discover that Atticus was nicknamed One-Shot Finch as a boy. Jem and Scout can't understand why Atticus doesn't continue to use his innate talent for hunting like other men in Maycomb do. ...read more.

Conclusion

He explains to scout that 'I reckon if he'd wanted us to know it, he'da told us. If he was proud of it he'da told us' and that'Atticus is real old, but I wouldn't care if couldn't do anything- I wouldn't care if he couldn't do a blessed thing'. Through this we see the extent of the respect and admiration that Jem has for his father. Jem handles this situation just like Atticus and how Atticus would want him to. Jem is turning out to be a good finch. He respects his father's decision about being modest about his skill. He upholds his father's decision and even tries to explain that to Scout. Thus due to Atticus's reluctant display of his shooting expertise, both Scout and Jem learn valuable lessons such as that courage does not necessarily have to be an act of violence and aggression or that if someone possesses an advantage over others it is not essential for him to display it. Also that a person can be great and admirable even if they are not seemingly courageous and active like everyone else. 864 words. ...read more.

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