Aunt Influence In To Kill A Mockingbird

1547 Words7 Pages
Influences of Aunt Alexandra and Atticus Finch

The main characters in the novel responsible for Scout’s construction/ development would be her Aunt Alexandra and her father Atticus Finch. The Aunt, who tires to manipulate Scout into becoming the conventional lady that society has laid out in front of us; where as Atticus encourages Scout to continuing being who she is.

Through out the novel there is a huge focus on Scout 's clothing as it is an important ingredient for her to develop her female sense of self. However her aunt’s pushiness in what she should be wearing, makes Scout hate the idea of being a female even more, as her aunt wishes to mold her into stereotypical southern lady.

“Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire.
…show more content…
Atticus seems to choose not to follow traditional expectations/ social convention concerning masculinity and femininity, for himself and his children. In fact Jem and Scout see him as an old man who does boring things, for example: “When Jem and I asked him why he was so old, he said he got started late, which we felt reflected on his abilities and his masculinity” (page 127; To Kill a Mockingbird). Mrs. Dubose then also criticises Atticus for not remarrying, which is could possibly be a subtle comment on his lack of manhood, and often sex related subject for men show them as someone capable, and strong. However when the children learned of his bravery and that could handle a gun, and went to fight against the lynch mob who were going to attack Tom Robinson, Atticus delivered an important message during this, he showed Scout that if people really wished to do something against society’s so called set conventions, it could be done, Atticus broke this unspoken law by defending a…show more content…
Another reason why Scout’s saviour is Atticus is related with her acknowledgement over the superficiality and restrictions of being a Southern female, for example when Mrs. Dubose tells Scout: “You should be in a dress and camisole, young lady! You 'll grow up waiting on tables if somebody doesn 't change your ways ...” (page 135; To Kill a Mockingbird). Meaning that if Scout does not ‘woman’ up she will forever be rejected.This quote is one of many illustrations in the novel where our narrator communicates to us Lee 's criticism of Southern women and their ignorance concerning gender roles.

Even Atticus the man how abides by no social conventions, ridicules the women 's attitudes. There are multiple examples of this; one were he tells Alexandra that he prefers “Southern womanhood as much as anybody, but not for preserving polite fiction at the expense of human life” (page 196; To Kill a Mockingbird). Calling Southern womanhood a "polite fiction," tells us that Atticus likes woman but not their make believe idea of how women should be, however people pretend to believe in it to make life run smoother; by diminishing the possibilities of having more then one type of people

More about Aunt Influence In To Kill A Mockingbird

Open Document