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How is Aunt Alexandra a good mother figure to Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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kittenleo | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 17, 2007 at 10:51 PM via web

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How is Aunt Alexandra a good mother figure to Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted November 17, 2007 at 10:59 PM (Answer #1)

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Aunt Alexandra believes in discipline and family togetherness.  She tries to teach Scout and Jem how to behave like acceptable children of their time - meaning like a little lady and little gentlemen.  She tells them of their family history to give them pride and a sense of belonging.  She tries to protect them from what is happening in town by withholding information from them.

However, the children do not react well to her.  They feel that she is condescending, and that she does not listen to their own opinions.  They prefer the parenting of Atticus, who allows them to establish their own identity and believes in giving them information with which to assess the world around them, in an unbiased manner.

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