This part of the book shows the views of how a woman should be and the importance of the female voice. The Pulitzer prize winning novel, published in 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird is written through the eyes of a young girl and follows her through the experience of childhood growing up in the racist, prejudice, and sexist south during the great depression. This serves as a platform for the guidance of her father, who she looks up too, to combat the judgment of oth...
We can see her struggle to feel equal to her male counterparts through her brother’s presences in the novel. Scout’s brother, Jem, desires to get a look at the mysterious Boo Radley, the boy who was never seen again for fifteen years; Scout fears Jem might get hurt and pleads Jem not to go, and Jem states, “Scout, I’m tellin’ you…shut your trap or go home-I declare to the Lord you’re getting’ more like a girl everyday” (Lee 42). Jem’s quote undoubtedly expresses that acting like a girl portrays that Scout is being weak. The quotes help highlight the insufficiency of strength women can truly possess in a situation, however many wish to disregard this strength, thus leading to the shortage of civil rights to
Harper Lee’s novel To Kill A Mockingbird explores the underlying racism that exists in Alabama, and perhaps all over America, in the 1930s. It focuses mainly on the practice of racial prejudice and discrimination. However, other subsequent issues are also mentioned throughout the novel. As we all know, To Kill A Mockingbird is set shortly after the Great Depression had hit America in 1929. It had a disastrous impact on the Southern part of America, including Alabama, because most of its citizens are farmers. Therefore, by extension, their lives are more reliant on agriculture.
When the ladies are at Atticus’s house for the missionary circle, Aunt Alexandra says, “Stay with us Jean Louise” (229). She is trying as hard as she can to make Scout more lady-like. Aunt Alexandra wants Scout to have an experience of what it is like to be a woman and to act like one. Scout mainly takes part in gossip, serving others, and does other perceived feminine activities in the society. These are some of the activities expected to be in a woman’s life during the novel’s time
All three main characters in each of these stories fail to fulfill society’s idea of beauty and femininity. The lead character of To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout, is a nine year old tomboy, during a time when girls aren’t supposed to be tomboys. She receives much criticism by her aunt and many others for not being the ideal young little girl. Harper Lee, the author, expresses through the view point of Scout, “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches, then I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn’t supposed to be doing things that requi...
As Aunt Alexandra has been living with the family she has started judging Scout's clothes, "I could not, possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could so nothing in a dress, she said I wasn't supposed to be doing things that required pants" (Lee 108). As Scout grows, up she faces the force of adulthood, which involves her becoming more lady like. Once Scout realizes that she has to give up part of her past, she feel reluctant to do so. Aunt Alexandra tries to push Scout into the family legacy, but instead Scout feels the need to hide from the reality of moving on which means growing up. Scout wants to be herself and not forced to be a "Finch". She doesn't want to be molded into something or someone that she's not. Scout escapes the pressures of being a "lady" by hanging out with her brother and Father, where she was more at "home" and not surrounded by "hypocrites"- fragrant ladies. Scout's need and desires to be herself are not acceptable within her community and it pains her to convert to becoming a "Finch", a stereotypical Southern
Racism has been evident all around America, even before this country was officially created over two hundred years ago. Prejudice and racism are not uncommon words in American history, because many disputes, such as war and protests, have emerged from the topic of race. This has been a common practice in the past, and is still a common practice today. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the effects of racism are shown in Maycomb, Alabama in the 1930’s. The effects of racism were very cruel during this time, and Harper Lee reflected this through characters, such as Atticus, Jem, Scout, Mrs. Dubose, Aunt Alexandra, and Calpurnia in To Kill a Mockingbird.
Women in Maycomb, and everywhere else for that matter, were viewed as dolls in every form of the word. Girls were supposed to wear dresses, refrain from cursing, and use manners. They were seen as fragile objects - it was even a crime to cuss near a woman. At one point in the story, it is briefly mentioned that several men were charged with using profane language in the presence of a woman. Scout did not understand the approach that the people in Maycomb had to women and she challenged the roles that people tried to force upon her.
Throughout the book, readers are able to see Scout as being a tomboyish, little girl. For example, Aunt Alexandra does not approve of the way that Scout has been dressing. “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subjects of my attire… She said I wasn’t suppose to be doing things that required pants” (108). Aunt Alexandra seems to feel that a girl Scout’s age should not be wearing pants and overalls, but she should be wearing a dress. Aunt Alexandra also thinks that Scout should be staying inside doing woman like activities instead of playing outside with her brother and Dill. Someone else who thinks that Scout is tomboyish is Mrs. Dubose. “And you… what are you doing in those overalls? You should be in a dress and camisole young lady” (135). Even though Mrs. Dubose grew up in a different time period, she still thinks that Scou...
The main culprit of pushing gender conformity is Scout's aunt, Aunt Alexandra. Aunt Alexandra is truly introduced into the novel when she moves in with the Finch family during the Tom Robinson trial. Aunt Alexandra is very indiscreet for her main reason to have arrived though and that is to feminize Scout. Aunt Alexandra states on her arrival, “We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence. It won't be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys--” (Lee 170). This quote shows the reader the expectation of A...
Aunt Alexandra is a negative influence on Jem and Scout. She is a refined lady with great knowledge about good conduct, and tries to impose this especially on Scout in ways that are unsuccessful and even hazardous to her growth and self esteem. She is strongly opposed to Scout’s attire which consists of overalls and pants, and demands that she act lady-like by changing into a skirt or dress. She is making Scout conform to the ideal vision of a stereotypical girl in the Nineteen-Thirties, which gives Scout a message that her individuality is unacceptable.
Sum up, the social relationship between these people here, this old town Maycomb is complicated and pretty tense. This novel has taught us so much, thanks to Harper Lee – one of the greatest writers of all time. It has opened our eyes wider about racism at that time and compared it to nowadays it has become so much better. People are equally, no matter what skin color you are, what religion you have, or where you’re from, what you’re appearance looks like, we are all equal, and we are all the same – human. So instead of treating badly to one another we should all united and make the world a better place.
As a growing young girl, Scout was learning and experiencing things just like any other child would though growing up. She got older and was able to understand things a lot better as well as being able to apply lessons she had learned in her everyday life. She began to act slightly more grown up in situations such as Aunt Alexandria's dinner party. Scout forgot how much she despised her Aunt and how much she disliked dresses and joined the group of women in their conversations. Despite how she didn't want to "act more like a lady", she played along with her Aunt's "campaign to teach me (Scout) to be a lady" made an exception to please her Aunt and to create some peace between them. Upon hearing the news of Tom's death she concludes "if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I." This shows how Scout was beginning to act more ladylike for her Aunt.
Overall, the reader can connect sexist issues in “To Kill a Mockingbird” to the present day world. Women are still expected to follow rules that society has set for them. Advertisements with unrealistic beauty standards are shown millions of times everyday. Women are still expected to stay at home and cook and clean while men go to work. Scout is a very brave girl who is
The Southern women were told and obligated, by some code of southern conduct, to mature into fair-smelling, perfect "ladies." By "ladies" they meant women who were well mannered, good at embroidery, and wore frilly, lacy dresses. One example of this southern tradition occurs when Aunt Alexandra comes to the Finch residence to help Atticus raise his children during the trial. When first arriving she says to Scout, "We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence. It won't be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys." This comment implies that the only subjects girls are expected to understand are boys and clothes. Aunt Alexandra makes no mention of Jean Louise's intelligence, education, or personality. Her diction suggests that the only thing Jean Louise is capable of pursuing is her attire and a man. Scout discovers what a "southern lady" is as she notices how Aunt Alexandra "chose protective garments that drew up her bosom to giddy heights, pinched in her waist, flared out her rear, and managed to suggest that Aunt Alexandra's was once an hour-glass figure." Scout was considered to be very improper, wearing overalls and pants, but Aunt Alexandra would still try and introduce her to other ladies. I assume that she did this to try and influence Scout. She hoped Scout would form lady-like habits by watching others. Another example takes place after the trial, when Jem is appalled at the decision the court makes in response to Tom Robinson's case.