In Chapter 9 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what unpleasant trait about Aunt Alexandra does Francis reveal to Scout?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 9, the Finches celebrate the holidays together at Finch's Landing and Scout is forced to spend time with her ignorant, arrogant cousin, Francis Hancock. After dinner, Francis and Scout go outside, and Francis makes several derogatory comments about Dill and Atticus. Francis repeats what his grandmother, Alexandra, has said about Atticus which reveals Alexandra's ugly prejudice towards African Americans. Francis tells Scout that Alexandra said that it was bad enough that Atticus let his children run wild, but now that he has turned out to be a "nigger-lover," their family will not be able to walk the streets of Maycomb anymore. Aunt Alexandra's racial slur reveals her racism. She disapproves of Atticus defending a black man and calls her own brother a "nigger-lover." Scout immediately takes offense to Francis' comments and punches him in the face when she gets her chance.

ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aunt Alexandra seems to be a woman who talks behind the backs of other people. Francis, Alexandra's son, tells Scout that his mother said,

"Atticus 'let’s you all run wild' and 'now he’s turned into a
nigger-lover. . . .'.

This paints a new picture of Alexandra, who has been trying to seem like see supports her brother. Francis' comments make Atticus seem like a bad father and makes Alexandra seem like a racist. Scout reacts by fighting with Francis.  Uncle Jack spanks Scout for fighting. But the real cause of the fight is Alexandra's loose tongue in front of her son and her true attitudes about Atticus' actions.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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