Homework Help

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Aunt Alexandra's way of thinking is clearly different from...

user profile pic

radhikabhoopalan | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 10, 2013 at 12:11 PM via web

dislike 1 like

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Aunt Alexandra's way of thinking is clearly different from Atticus. Give comments with examples.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

aszerdi | Student , Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted October 10, 2013 at 9:59 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Aunt Alexandra's mode of thought varies from that of Atticus during the family's celebration of the Christmas holiday. In Chapter 9 Scout is dismayed by her aunt's critique of her attire.

Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope tobe a lady if I wore breeches; . . . I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life. I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. She hurt my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge, but when I asked Atticus about it, he said there were already
enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business, he didn’t mind me much the way I was.
In the previous quote, Alexandra believes that Scout should conform to more feminine attire. Atticus, however, is content with his daughter's dress the way that she is. Alexandra also believes that Scout is childish and refuses to allow her to sit at the table with the rest of the adults during Christmas dinner.
I sometimes thought of asking her if she would let me sit at the big table with the rest of them just once, I would prove to her how civilized I could be; after all, I ate at home every day with no major mishaps. When I begged Atticus to use his influence, he said he had none—we were guests, and we sat where she told us to sit. He also said Aunt Alexandra didn’t understand girls much, she’d never had one.
Again the disagreement between Atticus and Alexandra is in relation to Scout. Implicit is Atticus' treatment of Scout in the same manner as an adult while Alexandra only sees a mere child. Alexandra believes that there is a need to contain Scout, and Atticus allows her to "run wild" far too often.
Furthermore, Alexandra gives her son practical gifts for Christmas: shirts, a book bag, a bow tie. Instead, Atticus gives his children gifts that are not so conservative: air rifles and a chemistry set.
Perhaps the last and greatest difference between the thinking of Atticus and Alexandra revealed in this chapter occurs when Alexandra is dismayed by Atticus' defense of an African American. She believes that he has disgraced the family.


Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes