Who is aunt Alexandra in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?

Updated 21 March, 2023
Aunt Alexandra is a character in the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. She is Atticus Finch's sister and comes to live with him and his children, Scout and Jem, during the summer of Tom Robinson's trial. Aunt Alexandra is a proper southern lady who values tradition, social status, and the reputation of the Finch family. She struggles to accept the children's tomboyish ways and Atticus's liberal beliefs. Her presence creates tension and conflict within the family.
Detailed answer:

Aunt Alexandra is an important character in the novel "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee. She is Atticus Finch's sister, and she comes to live with the Finches in Maycomb to provide a female influence for Scout, her niece. Aunt Alexandra is depicted as a strict and traditional Southern lady who values the family's reputation and social standing above all else. She is also very concerned with upholding the traditional gender roles of the time, believing that women should be homemakers and men should be providers.

Aunt Alexandra is initially seen as an antagonist to Scout and Jem because of her strict ways and her desire to make them conform to traditional Southern standards of behavior. However, as the story progresses, it becomes clear that she genuinely cares for her family and is motivated by a desire to protect them. She is also revealed to be a deeply loyal person, who is willing to stand up for what she believes is right, even if it means going against the rest of her community.

One of the most significant moments involving Aunt Alexandra in the novel is during Tom Robinson's trial. She represents the traditional views of the white community and is horrified by Atticus's decision to defend a black man. Despite this, she attends the trial and shows her support for Atticus and her family. This moment highlights her complex character and her ability to put her family above her beliefs.

Overall, Aunt Alexandra is a character that adds depth and complexity to the novel. She embodies many of the traditional values of Southern society, but also has her own unique personality and beliefs. Her interactions with the other characters in the story provide important insights into the themes of family, race, and gender roles that are central to the novel.

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