Miss Maudie and Aunt Alex - to Kill a Mockingbird

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Aunt Alexandra and Miss Maudie are roughly the same age and grew up as neighbours at finches landing. But for all the background these women share, they couldn't be more opposite. Lee uses contrasts between these two characters to further delineate the themes of 'to kill a mockingbird'. Aunt Alexandra is very conscious of Maycomb's social classes and she chooses to live within their constrictions. She also is shown to correct people if they are wrong; "given the slightest chance she would exercise her royal prerogative: she would arrange, advise, caution and warn." Even her clothes are described as tight and restrictive. Miss Maudie on the other hand sets herself outside of the Maycomb conventionality and like Atticus, she stays within the bounds but follows her own code. Scout sees Aunt Alexandra in a bad light, she sees her as uptight as she is so different from her easygoing brothers. Scout wonders if she was switched at birth. "She's the kind of woman who wears a corset under her bathrobe" Scout compares her to Mount Everest: "throughout my early life, she was cold and there" and whenever Scout expresses an interest in something 'not done by the Finches' she is down on her niece like an avalanche. This links to prejudice as aunt Alexandra refuses to let anyone in the family do anything that might upset their reputation and make them look bad. Even if what they are doing is right. She also disagrees with Atticus for representing Tom in the trial, making Scout dislike her even more. Throughout the book Miss Maudie is mentioned quite a lot but it is often when the focus is on something else like when the Ewell house is being described she is mentioned when Lee says that there are red geraniums in the yard. "Cared for as tenderly as if they belonged to Miss Maudie Atkinson". It seems that Miss Maudie is always in the background watching over the children as a
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