For quite some time, Aunt Alexandra is the scourge of Scout's childhood. As a proud daughter of the Old South, Alexandra has very definite opinions of appropriate behavior for "young ladies" and does not hesitate to share them with her niece. Alexandra is unrelenting in her campaign to reform Scout's dress and manners so that they conform with her standards of acceptability. This particular passage seems to sum up Alexandra's own attitude and behavior in the matter:
Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn't supposed to be doing things that required pants. Aunt Alexandra's vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father's lonely life. I suggested that one could be a ray of sunshine in pants just as well, but Aunty said that one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year. She hurt my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge . . . .
In her zeal to turn Scout into a "little lady," Alexandra fails to recognize all that is wonderful in her.