To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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In To Kill a Mockingbird, why does Aunt Alexandra come to stay with the Finches? What is she like?

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When Aunt Alexandra first arrives at the Finch house, Scout thinks she is there for a short visit. She quickly finds out that her aunt's stay will be much longer than that. Aunt Alexandra explains why she decided to come stay:

"Jem's growing up now and you are too," she said to me. "We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence. It won't be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys—" (To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 13)

Scout listens to her aunt's words and wants to protest. She knows that she is not interested in boys or in clothes. She knows that Calpurnia is always around to be a feminine influence on her. Despite Scout's inner protests, she does not say anything to Aunt Alexandra.

Aunt Alexandra comes to be a mother figure in the Finch household. She plans to keep an eye on the children during the trial. She is a serious woman who believes in proper behavior at all times. Specifically, she thinks that Scout should behave more like a young lady. Aunt Alexandra cares about mingling and being sociable with the area ladies.

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