Harper Lee’s masterpiece of a novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was first available to the public in 1960. This Pulitzer Prize award-winning work of modern American literature is truly timeless.
The heart-warming voices of Scout (Jean Louise) as well as her brother, Jem, have the power to take adult readers back to the time when they were also naive and innocent children that didn’t know much about the world. Their Aunt Alexandra, on the other hand, is strict, opinionated, as well as family-oriented. In this article, I have compiled some of the most notable Aunt Alexandra quotes.
It is Scout’s and Jem’s immaturity, as well as their childishness that creates the barrier between them and their Aunt Alexandra. These quotes will demonstrate how she is a truthful representation of a southern woman from her time.
20 Aunt Alexandra Quotes on the Southern Way of Life
Aunt Alexandra Quotes About Her Character
#1. “‘Put my bag in the front bedroom, Calpurnia,’ was the first thing Aunt Alexandra said. ‘Jean Louise, stop scratching your head,’ was the second thing she said.”
#2. “I had an idea, however, that Aunt Alexandra’s appearance on the scene was not so much Atticus’s doing as hers. Aunty had a way of declaring What Is Best For The Family, and I suppose coming to live with us was in that category.”
#3. “… Aunt Alexandra seemed as if she had always lived with us. Her Missionary Society refreshments added to her reputation as a hostess (she did not permit Calpurnia to make the delicacies required to sustain the Society through long reports on Rice Christians); she joined and became Secretary of the Maycomb Amanuensis Club. To all parties present and participating in the life of the county, Aunt Alexandra was one of the last of her kind: she had river-boat boarding-school manners; let any moral come along and she would uphold it; she was born in the objective case; she was an incurable gossip. When Aunt Alexandra went to school, self-doubt could not be found in any text-book, so she knew not its meaning.”
Aunt Alexandra Quotes on Her Family Values
#4. “I never understood her preoccupation with heredity. Somewhere, I had received the impression that Fine Folks were people who did the best they could with the sense they had, but Aunt Alexandra was one of opinion, obliquely expressed, that the longer a family had been squatting on one patch of land the finer it was.”
#5. “Today Aunt Alexandra and her missionary circle were fighting the good fight all over the house. From the kitchen, I heard Mrs. Grace Merriweather giving a report in the living-room on the squalid lives of the Mrunas, it sounded like to me. They put the women out in huts when their time came, whatever that was; they had no sense of family – I knew that’d distress Aunty.”
#6. “‘Your aunt has asked me to try and impress upon you and Jean Louise that you are not from run-of-the-mill people, that you are the product of several generations’ gentle breeding and that you should try to live up to your name. She asked me to tell you you must try to behave like the little lady and gentleman that you are.”
#7. “The thing is, you can scrub Walter Cunningham till he shines, you can put him in shoes and a new suit, but he’ll never be like Jem. Besides, there’s a drinking streak in that family a mile wide. Finch women aren’t interested in that sort of people.”
Aunt Alexandra Quotes About Turning Jean Louise into a Lady
#8. “‘Jem’s growing up now and you are too,’ she said to me. ‘We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence. It won’t be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys -’”
#9. “Aunt Alexandra supped coffee and radiated waves of disapproval. Children who slipped out at night were a disgrace to the family.”
#10. “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches;…”
#11. Aunt Alexandra’s vision of my deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace she gave me when I was born; furthermore, I should be a ray of sunshine in my father’s lonely life.”
#12. “Aunt Alexandra smiled brilliantly. ‘Stay with us, Jean Louise,’ she said. This was a part of her campaign to teach me how to be a lady.”
#13. “Ladies in bunches always filled me with vague apprehension and a firm desire to be elsewhere, but this feeling was what Aunt Alexandra called being ‘spoiled’.”
#14. “After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.”
Jean Louise on Aunt Alexandra Quotes
#15. “… today was Sunday, and Aunt Alexandra was positively irritable on the Lord’s Day. I guess it was her Sunday corset. She was not fat, but solid, and she chose protective garments that drew up her bosom to giddy heights, pinched in her waist, flared out her rear, and managed to suggest that Aunt Alexandra’s was once an hour-glass figure. From any angle, it was formidable.”
#16. “I could think of nothing else to say to her. In fact, I could never think of anything to say to her, and I sat thinking of painful past conversations between us: How are you, Jean Louise? Fine, thank you, ma’am, how are you? Very well, thank you; what have you been doing with yourself? Nothin’. Don’t you do anything? Nome. Certainly, you have friends? Yessum. Well, what do you all do? Nothin’.”
#17. “It was plain that Aunty thought me dull in the extreme…”
#18. “‘How’d you like her to come live with us?’ I said I would like it very much, which was a lie, but one must lie under certain circumstances and at all times when one can’t do anything about them.”
#19. “She never let a chance escape her to point out the short-comings of other tribal groups to the greater glory of our own…’”
#20. “Perhaps this is why she had come to live with us – to help us choose our friends.”
Keeping Tradition Alive
First of all, the children (Scout and Jem), don’t particularly favor Aunt Alexandra. They also find it hard to relate to her views. But her intentions to teach them about their family, the importance of keeping family traditions, as well as how to behave accordingly do not come from a place of malevolence. Clearly, she believes that what she is attempting to impose on them is not only for their own good, but also for the benefit of the entire Finch family.
Alexandra is simply a product of the age, as well as the community that she was born in. The social class in which she belongs, as well as her racial privilege as a white woman, are the cause of many of her narrow-minded and illiberal beliefs. However, thanks to her brother (Atticus) and his children, her character gradually transforms to become more considerate.
In addition to that, many of her traditional southern values have now become irrelevant and outdated. However, a lot of them are still present in today’s society — for better or worse. Hopefully, these Aunt Alexandra quotes have given you more insight into her strong-willed, southern character.
Image source: Aunt Alexandra by Elliot Copeland