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to kill a mockingbird

Explain Aunt Alexandra's ideas about breeding and family. Why does Atticus tell them to forget it? Whose view is right? Harper Lee's To Kill a...


The Finches have traditionally been a well-to-do and well-respected family. In fact she says that Jem and Scout are poducts of "gentle breeding" meaning that the Finches have carefully married in the past to make sure they would be upperclass and that they would have certain high society characteristics. (This tells us something about their mother too.)

We readers are under the impression that Alexandra coerced Atticus to talk with Jem and Scout and explain this. He couldn't. "Good" can be defined so many ways. "Fine" is another non-specific word. What Atticus sees in good, fine folks is people who are respectful, care for others, and take responsibility for themselves. To Aunt Alexandra, its all about your clothes, your looks, your friends, what you do. It's like she's still in high school or something.

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