What do Jem and Scout learn from Aunt Alexandra?

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lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Aunt Alexandra represents old-fashioned Southern womanhood.  She is anxious to impart to both Jem and his sister that their name, Finch, is an important one in their community, and she is especially concerned that Atticus's liberal teachings may be causing the children to develop attitudes and behaviors not fit for people of their social station.  Alexandra requires Scout to attend missionary circle meetings where the women drink tea and eat sweets and discuss how to help the heathen tribal peoples of Africa; she is also less than excited to find out that Scout and Jem went to church with Calpurnia one weekend.  Scout is especially annoyed with Alexandra's presence, and with the fact that Jem has begun referring to himself as one of the adults; when he tells Scout he will spank her if she antagonizes Alexandra, Scout comes out swinging, literally, and regains her dignity when Jem fights her back. 

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