Essay On Gender Stereotypes In To Kill A Mockingbird

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Alabama, during the 1930s, women were strongly discriminated against. They were inferior to men and were prohibited to serve on juries. Additionally, men had the right to a career whilst women had no career and were expected to get married, have children and maintain the household. How wrong is that? As a result of societies views during this time, women were expected to follow unbelievably stricter ethical and behavioural codes than men. Harper Lee’s perspective on gender stereotypes in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ is extremely controversial as many claim that she does not question women’s roles in society, but in fact seems to reinforce the attitudes during the 1930s.
In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird,’ Scout and Atticus have a discreet discussion about
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One of these occasions is when Maycomb Methodist ladies visited the Finch home for a meeting. This further demonstrates Scout’s preference to wear masculine clothing. In regards to her masculine clothing preference, Aunt Alexandra is Scout’s major tormenter. Aunt Alexandra has argued with Atticus on numerous occasions about her clothing and her behaviour. She and her church friends happily look down upon those who are poorer and consider them as trash. Their ‘role’ was to maintain and uphold their personal appearance.
Traditionally, parents name their child on the basis of their gender. During the 1930s, John and Robert were common names for boys while Elizabeth and Sarah represent usual names for girls. Lee gives the main character two standard female names, Jean Louise. Having two female titles in this time reinforces a women’s role in society as a ‘Southern Belle’. Furthermore Lee juxtaposes this feminine name with a masculine title, Scout.
“Scout, I’m tellin you for the last time, shut your trap or go home – I declare to the lord you’re gettin’ more like a girl everyday,” – Jem
Lee allocating a masculine nickname to Scout, accurately describes Scout’s personality. Moreover, contrasting Scout’s masculinity to the stereotypical female during the 1930s reinforces the gender stereotypes present in the
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