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The Marginalization Of Aunt Alexandra In The Novel "To Kill A Mockingbird"

770 words - 3 pages

Harper Lee, author of the novel, "To Kill a Mockingbird" exploits various textual features which are used to make characters like Aunt Alexandra marginalized. Throughout the novel she is illustrated as a foil to Atticus's attitudes and beliefs; additionally she symbolizes high-class society during the Great Depression. These techniques position the reader to view Aunt Alexandra as an antagonist.There are many reasons for the marginalization of characters and these are expressed through different textual techniques. Aunt Alexandra is primarily utilized as a contrast to Atticus through her diverse attitude to his methods of parenting. This is seen when she disagrees to Scouts behaviour and attitude:"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 light in my father's lonely life." (p87)This shows her overall attitude towards the ways that Atticus has raised Scout to be comfortable as a child, who can choose what sort of behaviour she wants, either as a good little girl or a bit of a tomboy. Aunt Alexandra doesn't see this as appropriate and said that Scout shouldn't be doing anything that required pants. Because of this whole disagreement and the fact that both Aunt Alexandra and Atticus had major roles in her life, Scout is pulled in two opposing directions.Further along the novel, it can be distinguished by both the reader and Scout, the paths that each individual wants her to follow. Aunt Alexandra is brought into the Finch household so that Scout can have a female role model, and she starts by signifying Calpurnia's inferior position, as a black woman who does not have any power. She demonstrates this by her first words when she first arrives at the house."Put the bag in the front bedroom, Calpurnia." (p127)Up until this point, Calpurnia had been a figure of admiration to Scout, as she had acted as a motherly figure through her years of dedicated service and love for the Finches, but with this comment, we instantly see the lack of respect that Aunt Alexandra has towards her. Aunt Alexandra does not say "please" or "thank you", all she says is a simple command forcing Calpurnia...

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