Why does Aunt Alexandra come to stay with Atticus and his family?no

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schulzie eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Aunt Alexandra is Atticus's sister, but Scout does not have a warm feeling about her.  She says,

"Aunt Alexandra would have been analogous to Mount Everest; throughout my early life, she was cold and there." (pg 76- chapter 9)

Aunt Alexandra has always had a problem with Scout and her overalls. She could not see how Scout hoped to become a lady if she wore pants.  She thought little girls should be playing with dolls and tea sets.  Scout is hurt because her aunt thinks,

"....one had to behave like a sunbeam, that I was born good but had grown progressively worse every year." (pg 81 - chapter 9)

Atticus was fine with the way Scout was and told her to just be herself.  However, Aunt Alexandra and Atticus have a discussion, and it was decided that Aunt Alexandra would come to stay with them for a while. She tells the children,

"We decided 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 ___" (pg 127 - chapter 13)

Atticus needs her help, but she is also there to help with the children during this terrible time of the trial.  The children are going to need her support while he is trying this case.  Atticus tries to explain to the children,

"She asked me to tell you that you must try to behave like the little lady and gentleman that you are.  She wants to talk to you about the family and what it's meant to Maycomb County through the years, so you'll have some idea of who you are, so you might be moved to behave accordingly." (pg 133 -chapter 13)

As Scout gets to know her aunt, she realizes what her role will  be in the future.  When she attends a tea party/business meeting hosted by Aunt Alexandra, she wears a pink dress and helps to serve refreshments.  She comments,

"There was no doubt about it.  I must soon enter this world where on its surface fragrant ladies rocked slowly, fanned gently, and drank cool water.  But I was more at home in my father's world." (pg 233 - chapter 24)


annefloordegroot | Student

She feels like the children need a motherly figure in their life. In her opinion, manners, attire, and the way the children speak is very important.

Hope it helped:)

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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