...What lessons do the Finch children learn from the incident with the mad dog? Explain in detail, indicating how they change their understanding of their father. Is the mad dog a symbol?
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They learned that there was more to their dad than books and common sense.
Jem and Scout felt their dad was boring, rather old and dull compared to other dads. They of course loved him but their mind wasn't really open to another side of him until he killed the dog. I always thought that the mad dog symbolized Bob Ewell and that might have been a good fate for him but that's just me.