Scout does not understand her Aunt’s obsession with her clothing. Aunt Alexandra repeatedly tells her that she cannot be a lady if she does not dress like one, and that she should engage in more ‘girly’ activities. Aunt Alexandra also says that as a girl, Scout should “be a ray of sunshine” in Atticus’s life, reinforcing the patriarchal expectation that all girls must be positive and happy continuously and brighten up the lives of their husbands or fathers.
She enforces this and tries to get Scout to conform to gender roles despite seeing how resistant she is to them. She takes part in all the ‘right activities’, such as hosting missionary circles, joining clubs and gossiping with a passion. She is portrayed as judgmental and is quick to create prejudices in her mind about others. Scout reflects up on her Aunt’s attitude and says, “When Aunt Alexandra went to school, self-doubt could not be found in any textbook, so she knew not its meaning”. Aunt Alexandra takes it upon herself to exert a ‘feminine influence’ on Scout’s life as she grows, and Scout resents her interference. She does not support or guide Scout as Miss Maudie does, and tries to make her change.