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How does Scout react to Aunt Alexandra's demands that scout must act like a lady in To...

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petertuohy | Student, Grade 10 | eNoter

Posted August 11, 2011 at 9:20 AM via web

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How does Scout react to Aunt Alexandra's demands that scout must act like a lady in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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lsumner | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

Posted August 11, 2011 at 9:54 AM (Answer #1)

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In chapter nine of To Kill a Mockingbird, Aunt Alexandra is determined that Scout will act like a lady. She has argued this point with Atticus, hoping for his support in the matter. She insists that Scout wear a dress and stop doing the things that require her to wear breeches or pants:

Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possible hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn't supposed to be doing things that required pants.

Aunt Alexandra desires for Scout to play with toys that are becoming to a little lady. Scout detests such toys. She is a tom-boy through and through. Aunt Alexandra specifically wishes Scout would play with "small stoves" and "tea sets." She gave her a pearl necklace when she was born. She desires for Scout to wear it and act like a lady.

In chapter nine, Aunt Alexandra tries to direct Scout in the role of becoming a little lady:

Another instance of the social code appearing in this chapter occurs when Uncle Jack and Aunt Alexandra try to teach Scout how to be a young lady. They are trying to teach her the unwritten code so that as she matures, she will accept her proper role in society.

Scout is determined to rebel against any such teaching. She is contented being the tom-boy she is and nothing Aunt Alexandra can do will change that.

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