To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, what page number describes Scout's attire?

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Muriel Perreault eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Chapter nine plays an important role when it comes to the clothes that Scout chooses to wear. Her Aunt Alexandra was, in Scout’s words, "fanatical on the subject of my attire." (92)

On page 92 of the 40th anniversary edition of the book, Scout mentions that her aunt continually castigates her for her attire, which consists of overalls—rather than dresses, skirts, and blouses. Aunt Alexandra also advises Scout that a lady should not participate in activities that would require practical clothing such as pants; instead, a lady should wear clothing that makes her look pretty and attractive. Aunt Alexandra also is critical of Scout's father Atticus, since he does not teach Scout how to be a proper lady and dress like a girl. However, Atticus tells Scout, "Aunt Alexandra didn't understand girls much, since she never had one" (93).

Another one of the most important quotes about Scout's clothing is on page 116. Mrs. Dubose, who lives near to the Finches in Maycomb, says:

What are you doing in those overalls? You should be in a dress and camisole, young lady! You'll grow up waiting on tables if somebody doesn't change your ways—a Finch waiting on tables at the O.K. Café—hah!" (116)

This quote implies that Scout's clothing is not only unfitting of her gender but also could decrease her social station and lead to her working at an establishment that some people would view as improper.

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Tina Bishop, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Different publications of the book usually have different page numbers from one to the other. However, in chapter nine Scout explains what happens between her and her Aunt Alexandra with regards to her attire. In the Warner Books edition, a purple book, the description of her clothing is on page 81. Aunt Alexandra is opposed to Scout wearing overalls or pants. In fact, Aunt Alexandra tells her niece that she should be wearing a dress at all times. Scout claims that there too many things she wouldn't be able to do in a dress; to which her aunt replies that little girls shouldn't be doing anything that requires pants.

Then, in chapter 12, Calpurnia makes sure that Scout's Sunday dress is full of starch. Cal also makes Scout wear a petticoat "and wrapped a pink sash tightly around" her waist (118). She even goes over Scout's leather shoes with a biscuit to make them shine. So, Scout wears dresses on Sunday for church, she just doesn't like wearing them outside when she plays with the boys and gets dirty.

Finally, her aunt gets her wish to see Scout in a dress in chapter 24, when she does wear a dress to Aunt Alexandra's tea party. When Miss Maudie asks her where her pants are, though, Scout tells everyone that they are under her dress. That interchange is on page 228.

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