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The Aunt Alexandra Effect In To Kill The Mockingbird

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Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird was one heck of a novel. In the beginning I really didn’t like the book and with some parts I still don’t, but after all, this book was good. In this novel a lot of characters had an impact, some big and some small. The story really pertained the main characters of Scout, Jem, and Atticus. But, there were multiple people playing the background, and I would like to point out the character of Aunt Alexandra. Some might argue that Aunt Alexandra was one of the main characters since she was mentioned and talked about fairly enough. Although she was talked about, doesn’t mean that she was the main focus, so therefore relatively playing the background and being somewhat minor in this novel. Throughout this book, events in the Maycomb’s own community really changed her. I’ll show you just why.

Throughout the book, Aunt Alexandra was introduced as an uptight lady with high standards. Scout express this disgust when “Jem told me (Scout) about Atticus’s sister Aunt Alexandra…I (Scout) decided that she had been swapped at birth” (Lee 103). Scout was led to believe this because Atticus was a good man unlike Aunt Alexandra from what she thought. Scout wasn’t just disgusted with Aunt Alexandra though like I just proved, but she was mentally and emotionally hurt by her. In the finch family, Christmas was a fond tradition, but“ Aunty had continue to isolate” Scout (Lee 108). Aunt Alexandra was straight up cruel to her which no family adult figure should ever do.

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Later in the book Scout, and Jem had the privilege of Aunt Alexandra living with them at their house. Atticus thought this was a good idea because he “felt that it was time you children needed your Aunt” (Lee 171). Atticus wants the very best, but Scout wasn’t really fond of the idea. But loving her dad Atticus she “Lied” and she said “I would like it very much” for Aunt Alexandra to stay (Lee 171). During her stay in Maycomb Aunt Alexandra believed “everybody in Maycomb had a streak” (Lee 172). So Aunt Alexandra wanted to make sure the finch family “streak” had a good one. So she made it her goal to change Scout from a tomboy to a young lady in her eyes.

In the last stretch of this book something happened unusual. After the Halloween play that Scout was in, they walked home in the dark. What was gonna happen? Maycomb was a safe, small community. But, someone had a grudge on Atticus, Mr.Ewell. He took that out his hate on Scout and Jem. As a result, Mr.Ewell died and jem was severely hurt. Scout was also injured. Aunt Alexandra’s soft side showed in spite in this. Even with helping Scout put on clothes after her old ones ripped she “brought me something to put on” Scout realized “Aunty brought me overalls and said put these on darling” (Lee 354). Mind you, Aunt Alexandra doesn’t approve of her dress because overalls wasn’t lady like in her opinion, but her love really showed. This made Scout feel secruce, a feeling she really didn’t feel with her Aunt.

So in the end, why does this reasoning and quotes matter? Aunt Alexanda was a strict lady like I said, but while Scout and Jem was hurt and in danger, her loved showed. Aunt Alexandra just didn’t displayed how events can change a person, but she affect everybody around her by her strictness and then her love. Anyone. Someone who was stoic and mean changed. Maycomb’s society wasn’t flawless like it seemed to be, but Maycomb overall made each other better. Aunt Alexandra was a perfect example of this success.

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The Aunt Alexandra Effect In To Kill The Mockingbird. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 24, 2023, from
“The Aunt Alexandra Effect In To Kill The Mockingbird.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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