In chapter 13, what does this line mean? "...one must lie under certain circumstances and at all times when one can't do anything about them."

2 Answers | Add Yours

ms-einstein's profile pic

ms-einstein | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

Posted on

Aunt Alexandra arrives in Maycomb and declares she is moving in to help Atticus with the children, especially Scout. She explains Scout will need feminine attention because it will not be long before Scout is interested in boys and clothes. Scout inwardly scoffs the notion, but holds her tongue—a remarkable feat for the feisty girl.  When Atticus arrives home from Montgomery, Scout jumps into his arms. He asks Scout if she would like Aunt Alexandra to move in with them. “I said I would like it very much, which was a lie, but one must lie under certain circumstances and at all times when one can’t do anything about them.”  Scout realizes she cannot do anything to block Aunt Alexandra’s relocation so she lies and feigns approval. Her statement shows Scout’s growth. At the beginning of the book, Scout would have protested loudly. She is learning the value of the “little white lie.”

We’ve answered 318,978 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question