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The relationship between Scout and Aunt Alexandra finally takes a turn for the better during the Missionary Circle tea in Chapter 24. Things couldn't have gotten much worse between them following Alexandra's refusal to allow Walter Cunningham Jr. to come and play at the Finch house "Because--he--is--trash..." Scout gets to see a side of the Christian ladies of Maycomb that is decidedly un-Christian and unladylike: Scout is made the butt of several jokes by Miss Stephanie, and the women spend most of the time gossiping, ridiculing Negroes (and Atticus) and spewing hypocritical diatribe. When Atticus arrives with the news about Tom's death, Scout sees that her aunt is genuinely upset (though about how it will affect Atticus more than with Tom's bloody demise). When Miss Maudie defends Atticus, Alexandra
... gave Miss Maudie a look of pure gratitude, and I wondered at the world of women.
When Maudie later commands both Alexandra and Scout to "Be quiet... Stop that shaking..." and to show "Not a sign," both of the Finches do as they are told. Scout is not surprised at Miss Maudie's actions, but she is impressed with the way Aunt Alexandra joins the other ladies as if nothing has happened. When Alexandra smiles at Scout and nods at the tray of cookies, signifying that Scout is also ready to join this "world of women," Scout readily shows her "best company manners."
After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.
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