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In Chapter 8 of To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Aunt Alexandra not approve of Scout?

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natasha068037290 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 22, 2009 at 4:24 AM via web

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In Chapter 8 of To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Aunt Alexandra not approve of Scout?

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Susan Hurn | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted March 22, 2009 at 5:50 AM (Answer #1)

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Alexandra's disapproval of Scout is seen in Chapter 9, rather than in Chapter 8, during the family visit to Finch's Landing at Christmas. Scout recalls that she heard her father "speak sharply" to Alexandra. He said, "Sister I do the best I can with them!" Scout knew their conversation concerned her wearing overalls most of the time; obviously, Alexandra did not approve of how Scout dressed or how she was being raised. Scout then explains her aunt's disapproval:

I could not possibly 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's vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born . . . .

Aunt Alexandra strongly disapproves of Scout's tomboy ways, which hurts Scout's feelings. She is comforted, though, because her father does not share Alexandra's disapproval. Atticus tells Scout to "go on about [her] business." He accepts her as she is and sees no reason for her to become someone she isn't.

 

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