In To Kill a Mockingbird, what effect does Aunt Alexandra's inability to see another's perspective have?

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ms-mcgregor eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aunt Alexandra's purpose in coming to stay with her brother is to help Scout grow into a proper Southern woman. Unfortunately, Alexandra has a very rigid concept of what a "proper Southern woman" is and she falls far short of a good role model. She is racist and with all the changes that are bound to come to Maycomb, that is not a good trait to teach a child. Atticus, on the other hand, wants his children to understand fairness and to believe that all people, including Blacks, deserve fair treatment. Alexandra's attack on Calpurnia also shows a total lack of understanding that Calpurnia, even though she is Black. she has been an excellent mother figure for Scout. When Scout laughs at Walter Cunningham's table manners, it is Calpurnia who rebuffs Scout for her lack of manners. She takes the children to her church and allows them to see the world from a different perspective. Other children are already making fun of both Jem and Scout for their father's defense of Tom Robinson, an Alexandra's presence only adds salt to their wounds. She has more to learn that Scout about humanity and kindness and her inability to see another's perspective makes learning those lessons almost impossible.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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