“What if he was kin to us, Aunty?”
“The fact is that he is not kin to us, but if he were, my answer would be the same.”
“Aunty,” Jem spoke up, “Atticus says you can choose your friends but you sho’ can’t choose your family, an’ they’re still kin to you no matter whether you acknowledge ’em or not, and it makes you look right silly when you don’t.”
“That’s your father all over again,” said Aunt Alexandra, “and I still say that Jean Louise will not invite Walter Cunningham to this house. If he were her double first cousin once removed he would still not be received in this house unless he comes to see Atticus on business. Now that is that.”
– Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird, Chapter 23. Aunt Alexandra is challenged by Scout and Jem when she refuses to let Walter Cunningham Jr. come to lunch. Their aunt displays her prejudicial and judgemental nature, looking down her nose on the family of poor farmer Walter Cunningham. But the children show decency and respect for other people – something they learned from their father Atticus. One of the great appeals of the novel is that, despite the absense of Scout’s mother, the Finch family demonstrates family life at its best.