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Atticus's sister Alexandra finds fault with many things in Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, but she is hardly a perfectionist in any sense of the word.
Aunt Alexandra believed that heredity is all-important in determining the character of an individual. As the Finch family is one of Maycomb's oldest, she thinks highly of herself and all family members, including her cousin, the writer, Joshua St. Clair. However, when Scout points out that Joshua "was locked up for so long... he tried to shoot the president," Alexandra stood "stiff as a stork. "That's all," she said. "We'll see about this."
Aunt Alexandra believes that Atticus is a poor father, and that Jem and Scout need a stricter upbringing. But her own child, Henry, has done an abysmal job with his son, Francis. "Uncle Atticus is a nigger-lover," he declared to Scout. And then to deliberately antagonize Scout, he
... crooned softly, "Nigger lover..."
This time I split my knuckle to the bone on his front teeth.
In Chapter 23, Alexandra refuses to allow Walter Cunningham Jr. in the house, declaring that the Cunninghams may be good folks, but "they're not our kind of folks... he--is--trash..."
Later in the chapter, Alexandra's missionary circle meets to discuss the fate of the poor African tribe, the Mrunas. The women declare sympathy for the Mrunas, but Mrs. Merriweather and Mrs. Farrow soon begin to denounce the black citizens of Maycomb. When Miss Maudie fires back, Alexandra "gave Miss Maudie a look of pure gratitude." Although Alexandra herself did not join in on the anti-Negro talk, she continues to ingratiate herself and be hospitable to the women who had just spoken in such an un-Christian-like manner.
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