Social Forces Affecting Scout Finch

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“You just hold your head high and keep those fists down. No matter what anybody says to you, don't you let 'em get your goat. Try fightin' with your head for a change,” Actius explains to Scout (84). This piece of advice given by Atticus has food for thought. It also impacts Scout. Atticus has raised Scout by nurturing her mind and individuality without dragging her down into the social hypocrites of her community. He has taught her to have good morals. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, gender and age, along with Atticus and the rest of her family, both impact Scout greatly. Even though many social forces impact Scout in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, gender impacts Scout the greatest. It affects her in how other people treat her. Unexpectedly, Aunt Alexandra shows up at the Finch household, and Scout asks why she had just shown up. Aunt Alexandra replies, “We decided that it would be good for you to have some feminine influence. It won’t be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys” (127). After Alexandra says this, Scout becomes puzzled because she does not think she needs a “feminine influence”. But, as she becomes older she is expected to act more lady like. Since she is a girl, she is expected to act prim and proper. Her being raised around men is acting against these stereotypes. Certainly, it is obvious that boys are more daring than girls. So while Jem and Dill want to get a sneak peak inside of Boo Radley’s house, Scout gets a little apprehensive. Jem shouts out, “Scout I’m telling you for the last time shut your trap or go home. I declare to the lord you’re getting more like a girl every day,” (51-52). After Jem said this, she decides she has no option but to join them. She does... ... middle of paper ... ...innocence. In some sense, because of her age, Scout’s perceiving of happenings in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird are more accurate, ethically speaking. Scout is reluctant to being very feminine because she wants to grow up on her own terms. She sees being feminine as a trap, and she doesn't understand that being masculine has just as many rules. When looking deep into Scout’s character traits, she has lots of morals lessons that she teaches in a roundabout way. She shows that you should not be afraid to stand up for what you believe in no matter your age, gender, or the family that you were raised in. Also, she teaches a lesson continually throughout the story that you can never be able to please everyone and sometimes you have to try very hard to stay true to yourself. The character of Scout has many lessons embedded into her actions if looked deep enough into.

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