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What character traits does Aunt Alexandra show in reaction to the crisis in To Kill a...

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samyang96 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 30, 2012 at 10:47 PM via web

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What character traits does Aunt Alexandra show in reaction to the crisis in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted May 30, 2012 at 11:47 PM (Answer #1)

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Aunt Alexandra certainly mellows as the novel wears on, and she seems to be at her kindest when the chips are down. She is genuinely concerned about Atticus's reaction to the guilty verdict.

"I'm sorry, brother," she murmered. Having never heard her call Atticus "brother" before...  (Chapter 22)

She is also upset when Atticus interrupts her Missionary Circle tea with the news of Tom's death. "Aunt Alexandra put her hands to her mouth" and "Alexandra's voice shook" when she spoke.

     "This is the last straw, Atticus," Aunt Alexandra said.  (Chapter 24)

After Bob Ewell's attack on the children, Alexandra blames herself for not recognizing the meaning of the premonition she had (when "somebody just walked over my grave") just before the children left for the Halloween pageant.

"This is my fault..."  (Chapter 29)

But her unseen motherly instincts emerge after the children return home with Boo. Even Scout recognizes the change that comes over her aunt.

She brought me something to put on, and had I thought about it then, I would never have let her forget it: in her distraction, Aunty brought me my overalls. "Put these on, darling," handing me the garments she most despised.  (Chapter 28)

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