How is Aunt Alexandra cold in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Aunt Alexandra can seem quite cold at times. Another word for "cold" in her case is prejudiced. One would think that a sibling of Atticus Finch would be as patient, calm, and reasonable as he is, but not Aunt Alexandra. She considers herself high and mighty because of her "gentle...

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Aunt Alexandra can seem quite cold at times. Another word for "cold" in her case is prejudiced. One would think that a sibling of Atticus Finch would be as patient, calm, and reasonable as he is, but not Aunt Alexandra. She considers herself high and mighty because of her "gentle breeding." That is to say, she's been brought up with privileges, education, and manners, so she is expected to behave in a certain way and be a good example in the community. She also wants Scout to behave a certain way and she does not filter what she thinks, either. 

"Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches. . . I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. She hurt my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge" (81).

This is one example of Alexandra being cold and not considering how her words might affect a little seven year-old girl. The next time she is really cold is when Scout says that she wants to invite her schoolmate Walter Cunningham over sometime. Aunt Alexandra says the following:

"Don't be silly, Jean Louise. . . The thing is, you can scrub Walter Cunningham till he shines, you can put him in shoes and a new suit, but he'll never be like Jem. Besides, there's a drinking streak in that family a mile wide. Finch women aren't interested in that sort of people" (224).

Jem argues that the Cunninghams are distant kin and to shun them is silly. Aunt Alexandra then puts her foot down and declares that Walter will never set foot in the house. Scout asks why and her response is probably the coldest ever:

"Because--he--is--trash, that's why you can't play with him. I'll not have you around him, picking up his habits and learning Lord-knows-what. You're enough of a problem to your father as it is" (225).

In just a couple of sentences, Aunt Alexandra disrespects a poor family's son and insults Scout again. Her prejudice seems to have no end and she can't see the damage that she is doing to her little niece. 

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