TKAM and Mrs. Dubose

How did this sit with you because I've been thinking about it for days.

On the one hand, Atticus demonstrates tremendous grace with Mrs. Dubose. And that grace, he clearly wants young Jem to pick it up.

On the other hand, if Mrs. Dubose isn't responsible for her own behavior, who is? Shouldn't she know better? (and therefore DO better?)

What do you think?

What a couple of our members said

"I think he meant that because she has been old and very ill for a long time, living with a lot of pain, that she lashes out with terrible things because she lives with terrible pain. And if she has been taking morphine all that time, that causes it’s own demons. I would posit that her circumstances are responsible for what she says and does."

"Now that I am older and I feel pain so much differently, sometimes it’s hard to remember to don’t let the pain show or have its own tongue so to speak. I think that she was old and in a lot of pain and therefore sometimes it’s hard to remember to be nice it shouldn’t be like that but it certainly can be."