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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee
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What comparison does Scout use to describe her relationship with Aunt Alexandra in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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In chapter 9, Scout mentions that her relationship with Aunt Alexandra was "analogous to Mount Everest" because Alexandra was "cold and there." Aunt Alexandra is an austere woman who views Scout with contempt because of her tomboyish personality and appearance. Aunt Alexandra continually criticizes Scout for playing outside, wearing...

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In chapter 9, Scout mentions that her relationship with Aunt Alexandra was "analogous to Mount Everest" because Alexandra was "cold and there." Aunt Alexandra is an austere woman who views Scout with contempt because of her tomboyish personality and appearance. Aunt Alexandra continually criticizes Scout for playing outside, wearing overalls, and behaving like a tomboy. Scout cannot stand her aunt and gets into several heated arguments with her in the novel. To Scout, Alexandra seems like an authoritative woman who is determined to change her (Scout's) personality and force her into becoming a proper Southern Belle. Alexandra rarely offers Scout encouragement or shows her sympathy. However, despite Aunt Alexandra's rough exterior and authoritative demeanor, I would argue that she has Scout's best interest in mind and wants her to become a successful, respected adult. Toward the end of the novel, Scout matures and begins to view her aunt in a new light.

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Scout compares Alexandra to Mount Everest:  "She was cold and there."  Scout finds Alexandra to be "cold" because she rarely expresses any feeling or emotion except perhaps disapproval, which is almost always directed at Scout's clothing, or behavior, or some combination of the two. Scout finds Alexandra to be "there" because she is Atticus's sister, thus a part of the family, and an inevitable part of Scout's life.

Scout also had a unique assessment of Alexandra's general appearance, commenting that the clothes Alexandra chose "managed to suggest that Aunt Alexandra's was once an hour-glass figure.  From any angle, it was formidable."

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