According to Aunt Alexandra in Chapter 9 of To Kill a Mockingbird, did Atticus raise Scout well?  Explain.

1 Answer

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Alexandra never offers her opinion about how Atticus raises his children in Chapter 9 of To Kill a Mockingbird, though she has more to say about this in Part Two of the novel. However, Alexandra's obnoxious grandson, Francis, is quick to point out all of the shortcomings of Atticus' family--opinions that he has picked up from Alexandra. We learn from cousin Francis that Alexandra has doubts about how Jem and Scout will turn out without a female presence in the household. Scout tells us that

     Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire...
     It had something to do with my going around in overalls.

Once, after Alexandra had brought up the subject, Atticus sharply replied that

"Sister, I do the best that I can with them!"

Alexandra was worried that Scout would never become a lady, telling her

... that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year.

Scout's feelings were hurt, but Atticus told her to ignore Alexandra's harsh words. We learn more about what Alexandra thinks from Francis when he tells Scout that

"Atticus lets you run around with stray dogs... so it ain't your fault. I guess it ain't your fault if Atticus is a nigger-lover besides, but I'm here to tell you it certainly does mortify the rest of the family--"

Francis goes on to say that Alexandra believes that Atticus lets Jem and Scout "run wild," and that

"He's ruinin' the family, that's what he's doin'."