Why does Aunt Alexandra say she has to come visit?
In chapter 13 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Aunt Alexandra unexpectedly arrives at the Finch house while Atticus is away. Scout and Jem are surprised because their aunt rarely comes to visit. Aunt Alexandra gives a reason for her arrival:
"Well, your father and I decided it was time I came to stay with you for a while."
This statement makes Jem and Scout nervous. "A while" can mean any length of time. They wonder how long their overbearing aunt will stay. She gives them more details about her reasons for visiting:
"Jem's growing up now and you are too," she said to [Scout]. "We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence. It won't be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys—"
Scout does not like Aunt Alexandra's reasons for coming. After all, she reasons, Cal is a feminine influence on her life. Scout does not think she will ever have an interest in clothes. She also thinks that it will be a long time before she is interested in boys. Despite her unspoken protests, Scout does not dare contradict her aunt.