Author Topic: What do you think "she was born in the objective case" means?  (Read 5011 times)  

Offline hamerfan

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Okay, here's the full quote from chapter 13, page 172:
"To all parties present and participating in the life of the country, 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."
Most of that quote is fairly straightforward. Born in the objective case throws me. I expect it's the opposite of being born in the subjective case, but that doesn't help me much either. Any ideas?
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Online crebel

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Re: What do you think "she was born in the objective case" means?
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2014, 11:14:04 AM »
I've always taken it to mean she was a stickler for the rules - like knowing when to properly use the objective case of 'to whom' instead of 'to who'.  She was born with an innate sense of right and wrong.

I am interested in hearing what others think the phrase means.
A book, I think, is very like a little golden door.
That takes me into places where I've never been before.
It leads me into fairyland or countries strange and far.
And, best of all, the golden door always stands ajar. - Adelaide Love

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Offline Geoffrey

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Re: What do you think "she was born in the objective case" means?
« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2014, 05:38:57 AM »
Instead of being a grammatical comment, I assumed is was a clever way to say that she objects to just about everything anyone does .....



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Re: What do you think "she was born in the objective case" means?
« Reply #3 on: July 29, 2014, 06:14:56 AM »
I agree with Geoffrey -- but may change my mind when I get to that part of the book . . . .

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Online Betsy the Quilter

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Re: What do you think "she was born in the objective case" means?
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2014, 10:51:22 AM »
I also agree with Geoffrey.  But there are a lot of discussions about it elsewhere...

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Re: What do you think "she was born in the objective case" means?
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2014, 05:38:08 PM »
I think we really are in agreement about how the phrase makes us think of her personality.  She is a persnickety woman who is happy to correct anyone and everyone on what she believes is right - and she was "born" with that mindset. I have an Aunt (be sure you pronounce that properly - "I'm not an insect that crawls on the ground." that the phrase describes extremely well.  I picture my Aunt June, hear the words in her voice, when reading Aunt Alexandra...
A book, I think, is very like a little golden door.
That takes me into places where I've never been before.
It leads me into fairyland or countries strange and far.
And, best of all, the golden door always stands ajar. - Adelaide Love

"Never lose sight of the fact that the most important yardstick of your success will be how you treat other people - your family, friends, and coworkers, and even strangers you meet along the way." ~ Barbara Bush

Offline hamerfan

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Re: What do you think "she was born in the objective case" means?
« Reply #6 on: July 31, 2014, 01:36:35 PM »
Thanks to all for the answers!
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Offline DuaneVore

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Re: What do you think "she was born in the objective case" means?
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2014, 07:01:13 AM »
I had a different interpretation.  The subjective is the actor and the objective what is acted upon.  Aunt Alexandra, instead of taking the initiative to think for herself, is merely acted upon by the conventional wisdom of the day and parroting what she is "supposed" to parrot.  This is in contrast to subjective-case Atticus, who clearly acts on his own and thinks things out for himself.
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