Why does Aunt Alexandra not approve of young Walter Cunningham?

Young Walter Cunningham is the son of Walter Cunningham and are one of the poorest family’s in Maycomb. Scout one day wants to invite Walter for dinner, but Aunt Alexandra seems not so sure , ” Jean Louise, there is no doubt in my mind that they’re good folks. But they’re not our kind of folks.” (Lee 224) Since the Cunningham’s are poor and the Finches are at a “higher class”, Aunt Alexandra wants nothing to do with others who lie beneath her. Or at least with people who have no background. Also, she does not want Scout to catch Walter’s “bad habits” since Scout is already a problem enough to Atticus. The Cunninghams being farmers were the reason why they were at the bottom, ” Farmers were caught in a depression of their own that had extended through much of the 1920’s.” (Taylor 7) The Cunninghams had the great depression hit them the hardest loosing their land and equipment for farming. Also, they did not accept anything from others in which they can not return. However, them being poor didn’t make them bad people instead they were good to others. Alexandra describes them as run-off-the-mill people, who are ordinary, which is not acceptable to her. In addition to the no background, it would also depend on the type of person you are on the outside, ” Classism says that upper class people are smarter and more articulate than working class and poor people.” (Warnock & Briggs 1) Since in Aunt Alexandra’s mind her family is at a high point , that makes her smarter and more fluent dominating the poor such as the Cunninghams. Portraying the low class to be insignificant and dumb in their community. Having a good background and education does indeed get you something good, but what really matters is your way of being and the hard work you put into life.

Lee,H. To Kill A Mockingbird. New York; Warner books, 1982.print

“The Great Depression” To Kill A Mockingbird nonfiction reading companion, March 2014:p.print

Warnock,D. & Briggs, L. ” Confronting Classism” http://soaw.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=532 n.d (web) April 26

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