What characters show the theme of tradition vs. progress and change in To Kill a Mockingbird?Researching what characters show tradition vs. progress and change, and possibly a theme statement.

1 Answer

Top Answer

bullgatortail's profile pic

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

Posted on

Aunt Alexandra is certainly one of the prime examples of resisting change in To Kill a Mockingbird. She is obsessed with heredity--both her own family's as well as everyone else's--and she seems to enjoy living in the past. She has never left her birthplace at Finch's Landing (until she comes to stay with Atticus), remaining there long after Atticus and Jack have moved on. She still employs a Negro chauffeur (although we never finds out what happens to him after she moves to Maycomb), wears her corset so that it

... drew up her bosom to giddy heights... and managed to suggest that Aunt Alexandra's was once an hour-glass figure.  (Chapter 13)

Mrs. Dubose is the most obvious example of resisting change, clinging to her old Confederate pistol in order to fend off any Yankees or Negroes who may enter her property. She considers Atticus "trash" for defending Tom Robinson (though it is mostly the morphine talking) and Scout "ugly" and "dirty" because she always wears overalls. She fittingly live in one of the oldest houses in Maycomb, and when she dies, the house falls into disuse--"standing empty" and, like Mrs. Dubose, a relic of the past--as if to salute its owner's passing.