How does Aunt Alexandra react to the incident in which Jem is attacked by Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird? 

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aunt Alexandra has certainly mellowed since her arrival in Maycomb. She apparently had plans to rule the roost when she first settled in with Atticus, but he slowly made his presence felt; first by defending Calpurnia's presence and later by allowing the children to attend the trial. After she refuses to allow Walter Cunningham to come and play with Scout, Alexandra sees a more ladylike side of Scout at the Missionary Circle tea. Just before the children leave for the Halloween pageant at the school, Alexandra has a premonition.

... she stopped short in the middle of her sentence. She closed her mouth, then opened it to say something, but no words came out.
     " 's matter, Aunty?" I asked.
     "Oh nothing, nothing," she said, "somebody just walked over my grave."  (Chapter 27)

Alexandra blamed herself for what happened to Jem and Scout, partly because she is too tired to accompany them to the school and also for not recognizing the "pinprick of apprehension" that she failed to act upon earlier. Alexandra ran to meet Scout when she returned home in her crumpled ham costume, and her

... fingers trembled as she unwound the crushed fabric and wire from around me. "Are you all right, darling?" she asked over and over as she worked me free.  (Chapter 28)

Alexandra's long-dormant motherly instincts reached a new height when she brought Scout clean clothes to put on.

... in her distraction, Aunty brought me my overalls. "Put these on, darling," she said, handing me the garments she most despised.  (Chapter 28)

Later, Alexandra blamed herself for the attack, telling Atticus that "I had a feeling about this tonight--I--this is my fault..." A different side of Alexandra's nature appeared that night, one of kindness, caring and motherly concern that had rarely been seen in the previous chapters.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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