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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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What are the similarities and differences between Scout and Aunt Alexandra in To Kill a Mockingbird?

Quick answer:

Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie are both very different, but in the end they have many similar characteristics. Both women are well spoken, kind hearted, giving, and generous. However, aunt Alexandra has a more traditional view on the world while Miss Maudie keeps an open mind and is willing to try new things. They both support Atticus's decisions even though they don't always agree with them. They both try to make Scout into the ideal southern lady and both have her best interests at heart.

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On the surface, the two couldn't be more different.  Aunt Alexandra is horrified that Scout likes to wear pants and just doesn't act properly in so many ways.  Aunt Alexandra is all about custom and maintaining a certain image and doing everything right in terms of other people's opinions.

But underneath it all, both Scout and Aunt Alexandra are willing to recognize hypocrisy and to challenge some things when they are really pushed into a corner.  For Scout it happens more often, perhaps because she is more of an impetuous child, but Aunt Alexandra also shows her willingness to do so when she stands up to her missionary group by calling them out on their hypocritical attitude towards the black members of their town and the people they are trying to "save" in Africa.

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What are similarities and differences between Aunt Alexandra and Maudie Atkinson throughout To Kill a Mockingbird? 

Both Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie are mother figures to Scout and Jem, and both are southern ladies who live in Maycomb, so they share a similar cultural background.

Beyond that, they are very different people, and Aunt Alexandra could be seen as the "bad" (or at least very conventional) mother figure in contrast to Miss Maudie's "good" mothering of the children.

Aunt Alexandra represents the conventional white middle class lady of Maycomb, and she quickly integrates into the heart of the community, becoming part of the Missionary Society and hosting ladies' teas. She shares the values of her neighbors: she wants to get rid of Calpurnia as a bad influence on Scout, she wants Scout to wear dresses and behave like a lady, and she is distressed that Atticus has not taught his children all about their Southern ancestors and taught them to have pride in their family heritage. She wants to repress the children, especially Scout, and turn them into typical specimens of their society.

Miss Maudie, on the other hand, is a generous, open-hearted, unconventional woman who does not share the racist values of her neighbors. She also doesn't care about the past, symbolized by her happiness when her house burns down, and she gets out from under it. She is a non-judgmental, wise adult who likes to bake cakes for the children. Scout can sit on the porch with her and learn from her wisdom. Miss Maudie is much like Atticus in believing Tom Robinson should have a fair trial and in being distressed at the verdict.

Aunt Alexandra represents the past and Miss Maudie the future: Scout is exposed to both influences as she makes her way through childhood.

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What are similarities and differences between Aunt Alexandra and Maudie Atkinson throughout To Kill a Mockingbird? 

Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie both are polite, Southern women who enjoy social events throughout the novel. Alexandra and Maudie are both respected members of their community. They are also both loyal individuals who try to influence Jem and Scout in positive ways. They also care deeply about Atticus and his children, even though they have different ways of showing it.

Despite their similarities, they also have different personalities. Alexandra is extremely judgmental and continually criticizes Scout for the way she dresses and acts. In contrast, Miss Maudie is a tolerant woman who supports and encourages Scout throughout the novel. Maudie is also kind and easy-going, while Alexandra comes off as cold and strict. The Finch children enjoy Miss Maudie but try to avoid their aunt. Aunt Alexandra is also prejudiced toward African Americans and lower-class citizens. In contrast, Miss Maudie is an accepting, tolerant woman who does not harbor prejudiced feelings toward others. 

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What are similarities and differences between Aunt Alexandra and Maudie Atkinson throughout To Kill a Mockingbird? 

I will be happy to provide some examples but will leave the essay writing to you.


  • Both grew up at or near Finch's Landing.
  • Both are members of the Missionary Circle.
  • Both of the women refuse to attend the trial of Tom Robinson.
  • Both are excellent cooks.


  • Miss Maudie is a Baptist; Alexandra is a Methodist.
  • Aunt Alexandra is "an incurable gossip"; Miss Maudie goes out of her way to mind her own business.
  • Aunt Alexandra tries her best to change Scout's unladylike ways; Miss Maudie accepts Scout for who she is and the way she is.
  • Aunt Alexandra always dresses immaculately, while Maudie wears coveralls most of the day while working in the yard.
  • Miss Maudie is a widow; Aunt Alexandra is married (barely) to Jimmy Hancock.
  • Miss Maudie is childless (apparently); Aunt Alexandra has a son and a grandchild.
  • Miss Maudie has a great sense of humor; Alexandra never shows a humorous side during the entire novel.

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