To Kill a Mockingbird

In chapter 10 why does Atticus refuse to use his talent? What does that say about his morality? How does it make up apart of his identity?

Analyze identity, theme

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Miss Maudie explains that Atticus doesn't shoot unless he has to, because he feels that when he holds a gun, God has given him an unfair advantage over living beings. Atticus doesn't believe in hurting animals or people; however, in the name of public safety, Atticus's moral code calls for him to protect his family and neighbors and kill the dog. Again, this shows how a law, such as nature's law or even a personal law such as Atticus's avoidance of guns, must sometime be bent toward a higher aim.