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In To Kill a Mockingbird, Aunt Alexandra represents the traditional southern woman. Given this role in the novel, it comes as no surprise that Aunt Alexandra places a strong emphasis on behaving in a proper manner. She expects the children to act like “Finches”, meaning to be polite and proper and uphold the image of the Finch family as traditional. She expects Scout to act like a lady, forces family history lessons upon the children and even tries to make Atticus follow along and force these ideals upon the children. She even goes so far as to encourage Atticus to fire Calpurnia. Her racist attutide mirrors that of many upper class white women. Harper Lee uses Aunt Alexandra and her distaste for the lower classes to highlight the prejudiced attitudes toward lower classes and African Americans in that time period.
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