To Kill a Mockingbird is really a study of the influence of culture on the individual. All of the characters are affected by external factors. As Scout and Jem grow, a big part of their education about adulthood is understanding what the outside world wants from them. This means understanding the pressures of racism and discrimination. For example, Scout learns about the Cunninghams and the Ewells and the different levels and cultures of poverty. They also learn about how society views racism, an accepted and required part of life. Finally, Scout learns how to be a lady. Aunt Alexandra tries to teach her to understand and act her social station so that she will be successful in the society she will need to take part in.