Miss Maudie & Aunt Alex Essay

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Miss Maudie & Aunt Alex

The Maycomb ladies provide an excellent example of racial prejudice, and a failure to see what it is like in someone else’s skin. They believe they are doing well by making money for missions, failing to see the hardship on their own doorsteps. Aunt Alexandra is very important to the novel, ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ as she is a representative of these viewpoints, disapproving of Calpurnia and disassociating herself from the black community entirely. Miss Maudie however is the counterpoint to Aunt Alexandra. Maudie offers Scout a female role model, whereas Aunt Alexandra tries to make Scout more ladylike, to fit in with her position in life. Aunt Alexandra plays the greatest role in reinforcing class distinctions
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However, she takes some of Atticus’s teaching into account during her stay and provides the children with one of the greatest lessons she could give them, when throughout the novel she learns to be less prejudiced herself, helping the children to learn to be less prejudiced towards her.

Miss Maudie however is a sympathetic presence in the children’s lives, and is a positive influence on their development. She is liked and respected by Jem and Scout probably due to her understanding of them. Unlike Aunt Alexandra she treats them with kindness and respect, she genuinely enjoys their company, bakes them cakes and most importantly does not talk down to them, showing clearly how Aunt Alexandra and her differ, although they both have the children’s best interests at heart. Miss Maudie can see that Aunt Alexandra is trying to convert Scout from a tomboy to a respectable young lady, however she understands Scout better than Aunt Alexandra does and realises that Scout won’t convert to the ideal niece Aunt Alexandra wants her to be just because she’s made to wear a dress occasionally. Miss Maudie shows the reader why Jem and Scout respect her so much at the missionary tea party, You’re mighty dressed up, Miss Jean Louise,’ she said. ‘Where are your britches today?’ ‘Under my dress.’ showing Scout that she is not like all the other Maycomb ladies that her aunt wants her to be like and she does have a full understanding of her. Miss Maudie

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