When Francis talks to Scout, what unpleasant feature of Aunt Alexandra does he reveal in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Francis reveals that Aunt Alexandra is racist and considers Atticus the ruination of the family.

Scout finds Francis boring, and has never liked him, but she gets even more annoyed when she realizes that he is insulting her father.

Talking to Francis gave me the sensation of settling slowly to the bottom of the ocean. He was the most boring child I ever met. (ch 9)

Francis is more than just boring though.  He intentionally goads Scout, telling her what Aunt Alexandra (his grandmother) said about her father.

Grandma says it's bad enough he lets you all run wild, but now he's turned out a nigger-lover we'll never be able to walk the streets of Maycomb agin. He's ruinin' the family, that's what he's doin'." (ch 9)

Scout is very upset by this.  It is one thing when the whole town seems to be against her, but now her family has turned on her.  She feels frustrated and confused, and she lashes out.  Francis tattles, and Uncle Jack spanks Scout.  When she tells him what really happened, he is upset—but she asks him to drop it.

This incident demonstrates that Aunt Alexandra’s problems with Atticus move beyond just wishing Scout wore frilly dresses.  Clearly, she wishes that Atticus was raising his children to consider themselves better than others.


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