Explore how Scout's relationship is presented with women in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Characters like Calpurnia, Miss Caroline Fisher, Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie.

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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As Scout mentions in Chapter 24, "I was more at home in my father's world"--the world of men. Scout has no girlfriends during the entire course of the novel: She prefers her tomboy ways playing with Jem and Dill. She considers Miss Maudie "our friend," and the Finch's neighbor serves as a mentor and maternal figure for Scout in the absence of her mother. Scout knows she can go to Maudie for answers when Atticus isn't around, and it is Maudie who explains Atticus's belief that it is a "sin to kill a mockingbird" and his reasons for not telling the children about his marksmanship skills. Scout doesn't get along with the "tyrannical" Calpurnia at first, and she seems to think that Cal favors Jem. But Scout slowly begins to recognize that Cal always acts in the children's best interests, and Scout comes to admire her because "she's never let them get away with anything" and "the children love her."

Scout never sees eye to eye with her Aunt Alexandra, who is hard on Scout because of her unladylike ways. Alexandra is obsessed with her family heritage, and she is worried that Scout will never live up to the Finch family name. But Alexandra begins to soften toward Scout late in the novel, and Scout is even impressed with her aunt's behavior at the Missionary Circle tea.

     After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.  (Chapter 24)

Alexandra blames herself for Bob's attack on the children and not recognizing the meaning of her premonition earlier in the evening. Her motherly nature finally emerges when she surprises Scout by bringing her overalls to wear--"the garments she most despised." As for Miss Caroline, Scout admires her teacher's beauty and "peppermint drop" smell, but she also sees that she is like a fish out of water in Maycomb. Her unfairness toward Scout and her belief that Atticus "does not know how to teach" leaves Scout completely unsympathetic.

Had her conduct been more friendly toward me, I would have felt sorry for her. She was a pretty little thing.  (Chapter 2)


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