What more do we learn about Alexandra after Atticus & Calpurina leave ?

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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When Atticus and Calpurnia leave to break the bad news of Tom Robinson's death to Tom's wife Helen, Aunt Alexandra is left alone with Miss Maudie and the bewildered Scout. All of them are shaken by the terrible news that Tom has been shot dead as he made a break for freedom from the prison. This is practically the first time that we see a softer side to Alexandra. Up till now we have seen her really only as a prim, indeed rigid type of character, somewhat comic in her obsessions with notions of gentility, social conventions and proper behaviour (all of which she tries, unsuccessfully, to impress upon Scout). But in this scene, not only is she shocked by Tom's death, she also expresses genuine concern for Atticus, her brother. She admits to Miss Maudie that she may not agree with everything he does, but she can't bear to see him hurt. Therefore we see a more human and likeable side to her at this point of the novel.