In Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout and Aunt Alexandra are frequently at cross-purposes.  What is the source of conflict that occurs on Christmas Day?

1 Answer | Add Yours

lhc's profile pic

lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

This particular conflict occurred when Scout, in her words, ". . .split my knuckle to the bone on his [Francis's] front teeth" after a post-Christmas dinner interaction in which Francis referred to Scout as a "nigger-lover" among other things having to do with the upcoming Tom Robinson trial.  Francis's grandmother is Scout's Aunt Alexandra, Atticus's sister, who is far more welded to traditional Old Southern ways than her liberal brother.  Alexandra gets frustrated with Atticus because of his plans to defend Tom Robinson to the best of his ability, a no-no because Robinson is black and his accuser is white, and she gets frustrated with Scout (and by extension, again, Atticus) because Scout's tomboy lifestyle and denim overalls are an offense to the social significance of the superior Finch family name.  Alexandra's frustration with the raising of the children is usually met with mild responses by Atticus, but sometimes she and Atticus get cross with each other, "fussing" as Jem calls it.  Alexandra is also the one who states unequivocally that Scout would not be visiting Calpurnia's home--a declaration that got Scout into a whole lot of trouble when she pointed out that she was not talking to Alexandra, but to her father. 


We’ve answered 317,697 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question