In Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, how does Aunt Alexandra influence Scout spiritually?

1 Answer | Add Yours

booboosmoosh's profile pic

booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

In To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Aunt Alexandra does influence Scout—surprisingly, though "spiritually" in an unusual way to put it.

Throughout the story, Aunt Alexandra is a thorn in Scout's side. First, Scout is a tomboy, and her aunt struggles with the overalls she wears, the games she plays, the fights she has, and the way she talks. Scout is anything but a young lady. Aunt Alexandra is rather a straight-laced "southern belle," struggling with the relationship the children share with Calpurnia because the housekeeper is black (though Atticus refuses to change a thing about the way the household is run).

However, we see the effect she has had on Scout on the evening when news of Tom Robinson's death arrives at the Finch household; Aunt Alexandra shows the true nature of the woman she is, and she must have influenced Scout as well because the youngster demonstrates her ability to behave in a controlled and courteous fashion, even while tragedy has struck so close to home.

'Oh, Mrs. Perkins, [Aunt Alexandra] said, 'you need some more coffee. Let me get it.'

...said Miss Maudie. 'Let me pass you some more of those dewberry tarts...'

Aunt Alexandra looked across the room at me and smiled. She looked at a tray full of cookies on the table and nodded at them. I carefully picked up the tray and watched myself walk to Mrs. Merriweather. With my best company manners, I asked her if she would have some. After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.

We’ve answered 318,950 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question