Tkam-The Many Traits Of Aunt Alexandra Essay, Research Paper
The Many Traits of Aunt Alexandra
My Crazy Aunt does drugs, and her boyfriend is her drug dealer. Aunty Boo just took me on a $400.00 shopping spree. Neither of these descriptions fits Jem and Scouts Aunt Alexandra in the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, but if you tone them down and put them together, you get the general characterization of their Aunty. Atticus Finch is a very profound, respected lawyer and the loving father of Jean Louis (Scout) and Jeremy (Jem) Finch. When assigned to possibly the toughest and most controversial case of his career, Atticus calls apon his sister, Alexandra, to come and help with his beloved children. Upon Aunt Alexandra s arrival, Jem and Scout see her as very controlling, but as the book develops, Alexandra begins to pertain her role as a hostess in Maycomb County, and the children begin to see the more adoring side of their Aunty.
From the second Alexandra sets foot in the Finch household, she begins giving orders. Put my bag, in the front bedroom, Calpurnia, was the first thing Aunt Alexandra said, Jean Louise, stop scratching your head, was the second (127). To Jem and Scout, it seemed as if from then on, their Aunt perennially ordered the family around. She would tell Scout how to dress, or to act like a lady; that she should be a comely child. Atticus was told how to run HIS house, family, and how to raise HIS kids. The opinionated woman even went as far as to say to Atticus You ve got to face it sooner or
later and it might as well be tonight. We don t need Cal now (137). Alexandra takes over the house: she was asked by Atticus to come and help with the kids, he never wanted her to completely take over and control their lives.
The Finch household was accustom to two kids running around playing while the Calpurnia tried to control them. As soon as Aunt Alexandra moves in, the Finch house turns into the social center of Maycomb county. To Scout, it seems that every time she turns around, it s the ladies. Weather it be Alexandra hosting a get together, or a meeting, or a party, or if the ladies were only over for coffee or tea. It didn t matter what the occasion, it would always be the ladies. When Scout grows up, she will look back on the time her Aunt lived with her and recall:
Some afternoons when I would run inside for a drink of water, I would find the living room over run with Maycomb ladies, sipping, whispering, fanning, and I would be called: Jean Louise, come and speak with the ladies. (233)
But it was her Aunts nature. Aunt Alexandra was one of the last of her kind: she had river-boat, boarding school manners; let and moral come along and she would uphold it (129). All she was doing was imposing her morals and beliefs on Scout so that she could have, what Alexandra considered, a genuine female influence in her life.
Manipulative and controlling is the only side of Aunt Alexandra that Jem and Scout get to see through most of the book. It is not until Mr. Ewell attacks Jem and Scout that they finally begin to realize what a loving woman their Aunt really is. As soon as Alexandra saw Jem and Scout come in the house, beaten and bleeding, she immediately called Doctor Reynolds, and Heck Tate. Atticus sister was very nervous for her niece
and nephew and did not know what to do. Aunty was so concerned She brought me something to put on, and had I thought about it then, I would have never let her forget it: in her distraction, Aunty had brought me my overalls. Put these on darling, she said, handing me the garments she most despised (264). All Scout ever heard from her Aunt was nagging about wearing those overalls: but at the same time she knew that Scout felt comfortable in them, and they would make her feel safe after such a spasmodic night. The thought of loosing her nephew perplexed Alexandra. After the incident, as any truly concerned mother would do, Alexandra blamed her self. Atticus, I had a feeling about tonight I this is my fault, Alexandra began (267). For someone to admit something that controversial, and to take the blame for such a tragic event, they would have to really care for their children with more than just their heart: with their whole life. Aunt Alexandra did exactly that with out even thinking twice about it.
With Aunt Alexandra taking on the role of the woman of the house, Jem and Scout begin to see a side other then the deceitful Aunty: they see that she has a big place in her heart for them. She came in to Maycomb, expecting to take over, and run Atticus, Jem, and Scout s lives. As she begins to find her place, Scout begins to see that she means well, and always wanted the best for everyone. There are a lot of different kinds of Aunts out there, and no matter how weird, or normal, you think yours are, there is always someone that is more weird, or more ordinary.