In To Kill a Mockingbird, where is the implication made that Atticus is not capable of raising children because he is a man?

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cldbentley eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the end of Chapter 12 of To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel written by Harper Lee, Scout and Jem Finch look down the street and see their Aunt Alexandra "sitting in a rocking chair exactly as if she had sat there every day of her life."  In the next chapter, they learn that Aunt Alexandra has come to provide Scout with "some feminine influence."  Their aunt later informs Scout and Jem that they are not permitted to attend Calpurnia's church, but Scout is angry that her aunt is making decisions, rather than Atticus, her father. 

Although Atticus instructs Scout to apologize to Aunt Alexandra, Alexandra is not pleased with what has taken place.  She addresses the situation with Atticus once Scout has gone to her room.

"'ve got to do something about her," Aunty was saying.  "You've let things go on too long, Atticus, too long...Atticus, it's all right to be soft-hearted, you're an easy man, but you have a daughter to think of.  A daughter who's growing up..."

Atticus does allow Alexandra to have some say in Scout's life, but he does not allow her to have complete control of her upbringing.


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To Kill a Mockingbird

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