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In chapter 13 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what is Aunt Alexandra's major theory...

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jsilk2015 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 10, 2012 at 1:55 AM via web

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In chapter 13 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what is Aunt Alexandra's major theory concerning human behavior?

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missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 10, 2012 at 2:49 AM (Answer #1)

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Aunt Alexandra's main assertion is that people are the way they are because of their families. Heredity and genetics can be to explain for every human behavior. If someone has a lisp, it's because their mother had one too. If someone tends to cheat at checkers, it may very well be that their great great grandpa did too. If someone is rich, their ancestors must have been too. Unfortunately this order of thinking doomed many people to her unmerited judgment. But that was just Alexandra's way. 

This can be supported by two quotes from the chapter:

Everybody in Maycomb, it seemed, had a Streak: a Drinking Streak, a Gambling Streak, a Mean Streak, a Funny Streak.

I never understood her preoccupation with heredity. Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had, but Aunt Alexandra was of the opinion, obliquely expressed, that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land the finer it was.

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