What did Scout mean when she states, "I know what he was trying to do, but Atticus was only a man. It takes a woman to do that kind of work."

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troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In chapter 13, Atticus faces a dilemma with Aunt Alexandra there.  He has never done a very solid job at raising the kids to be proper and have good manners, but he did the best he could and he taught them good morals and values.  When he was trying to get Scout to behave a little more like a lady, and for both kids to learn about their heritage (which was #1 in Alexandra's book), it was out of character for him.  Scout realized that and made this comment.  Women were the ones during this time period to raise the kids, take them to church, and teach them.  He was trying to do both the job of the mom and the job of the dad.  It was just out of character for him.  He realizes this, too, at the end of the chapter when he makes a reference to being as crazy as their cousin Joshua.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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