In what ways is Aunt Alexandra like Mount Everest in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Scout's Aunt Alexandra is somewhat larger than life, and she obviously rules the roost at the family home at Finch's Landing. She wears the pants in the family, and "never saw any reason to take notice" of her husband, Jimmy. Alexandra's son, Henry, "left home as soon as was humanly possible," and rarely visits his parents or the old family homestead. Her grandson, Scout's cousin Francis, is spoiled and obnoxious, and Alexandra's pampering has turned him into a sissy who hides behind her whenever he antagonizes the tomboy Scout. Alexandra's mothering skills are highly questionable, and though she believes Jem and Scout needs a woman's touch, it is clear that Atticus is far superior when it comes to parenting abilities. Alexandra considers the Finch family part of Maycomb's royalty, and that their "gentle breeding" sets them apart from other Maycomb families. She still uses a Negro chauffeur and attempts to take over as head of Atticus's household when she arrives in Maycomb. But she fails to convince Atticus to fire Calpurnia, and Atticus finally stands up to his sister, firmly telling her that Cal is a beloved member of their family. Alexandra reminded Scout of Mount Everest: always "cold and there."

She was not fat but solid, and she chose protective garments that drew up her bosom to dizzying heights... From any angle, (she) was formidable.  (Chapter 13

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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