Compare and contrast the relationship between Jem and Scout and Atticus and Aunt Alexandra in To Kill a Mockingbird.  

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JEM & SCOUT.  The two main characters of the novel are not only brother and sister but best friends as well. Except for Dill, neither of them have any close friends mentioned in the story, and aside from the summer months when Dill visits Maycomb, Jem and Scout spend most of their time together. Scout mentions several school friends in the story, but besides the one visit that Walter Cunningham makes to the Finch house for lunch, no other friends or children are mentioned as regular playmates. Scout mentions at the beginning of Chapter 12 that Jem, who had just turned 12, was becoming "difficult to live with, inconsistent, moody." They seem to be growing apart, but no other children actually appear to come between them in any way. Jem serves as Scout's older protector, and Scout is his loyal follower. Both of them seem to prefer the company of other adults--Atticus, Miss Maudie, Calpurnia--to children their own age.

ATTICUS & ALEXANDRA.  Like most siblings, the two occasionally argue. The two don't seem to have a relationship as close as Jem and Scout, but there is little mention of their own youth together. Alexandra shows her loyalty to Atticus when she comes to Maycomb to take care of the family, leaving her henpecked husband, Jimmy, behind at Finch's Landing. Alexandra is headstrong and opinionated unlike the quiet, fair-minded Atticus; but Atticus takes control of the household when necessary (such as when Alexandra wants to have Calpurnia fired), and Alexandra obviously has great respect for him as a lawyer and for his humane beliefs. Although she sometimes tries, Alexandra is not able to dominate Atticus as she does her own husband, probably because she respects her brother much more than Jimmy..

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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