Gender Roles, Not Pizza Rolls "Gender roles are a social construct. When we attempt to assign strengths and weaknesses to either gender, we literally cut our potential as the human race in half." In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird one huge controversial theme is how gender is displayed considering how gender roles played a major part in the time period that the book was written, and how the main character Scout confronts these boundaries. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in the late 1930s to the early 1940s in a small town called Maycomb, where Scout and her older brother Jem experience many things and one main thing being the effects of their father taking a case where he defends a colored man, and Scout and her brother must learn how to deal with the outlash of people’s opinion and how to find themselves. Scout experiences various changes throughout the novel and one of these changes being her outlook on gender caused by her brother and her friend Dil, her strict and traditional Aunt Alexandra, and her open minded father, Atticus. One important detail that leads to Scout’s noticeable changes occurs …show more content…
Atticus is seemingly fair and level-headed and tries to treat his children on equal ground, as can be seen on why he let’s them call him Atticus. But Atticus also tries to teach his children to be themselves despite gender roles, and how big they were back in that time period. “He said there were already enough sunbeams in the family and to go on about my business, he didn’t mind me much the way I was” (108). This plays a big role for Scout because it gives her freedom to be a tom boy if she wants, and not have the idea of feminine forced upon her and that if she did act in a way of feminine, it would not be expected to become a part of her everyday character. This helps her have space to be herself and figure herself out to be the character we see at the end of the
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Atticus a busy man, had less time to raise his kids than many parents, this led to Jem and Scout having a more unconventional upbringing. Aunt Alexandra unjustly ignores these circumstances, ridiculing the children's manners and clothing choices constantly. “...you've got to do something about her. You've let thing go on to0 long, Atticus, too long. ”(182)
As individuals in today’s society, we are privileged to not have to endure the prevalent societal differences and sexism that the characters in Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, must. The readers, lead by the protagonist, Scout Finch, can truly begin to identify with her observance and simultaneous acceptance and defiance of gender roles. Evidently, Scout grows up with prominent gender roles impacting and influencing her opinion on how each gender “should” and “should not” behave, but when it comes to her behaviour, she does as she pleases. When Scout converses with her male cousin, Francis, about cooking, she laughs upon hearing his uncommon interest of the pastime.
In fact, Scout believed her father was boring compared to other fathers, she noticed, “He didn’t do the things out schoolmates’ fathers did” (118). She did not understand the importance of his job specifically; it was not labor, and she could not observe direct effects of his efforts. Scout did not think he had any skills for he took careful consideration and never showed off unless it was desperate. At one point in the novel, Atticus’s sister, Aunt Alexandra, wanted to teach the children about their heritage and their ancestors as if it dictated who they were, but Atticus worked to have the children perceive other people as simply having different ways of living. His observations can be observed through his accommodations for his company, “And yet not look too good, or talk too wise.”
There is no doubt that things have changed since 1929 to now. Some things have gotten better, somethings have gotten worse and somethings have stayed the same such as how we view people by their race, gender or class. In the book (To Kill a Mockingbird) by Harper Lee, it displays how life was for two white children named Jem and Scout during the Great Depression, and all their experiences with racism and discrimination. In the book, Atticus, the children’s father is ordered to defend a colored man named Tom Robinson who was accused of rape which causes controversy throughout Maycomb. Some people disagree that Atticus should be defending a colored man, but some people such as Miss.Maudie are glad that Atticus is defending Tom Robinson because
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee touches on some significant subjects, which still arise evidently in today’s problems. Furthermore, a gender-biased world includes one of the prominent themes running throughout the book and Harper Lee brilliantly explores this controversial topic without a noticeably heavy tone. Lee introduces the main narrator and character, Scout Finch, as a young girl in a tight-knit family living in the sleepy town of Maycomb where her family begins to struggle with injustice looming above, ready to dampen their spirits. Though their father Atticus keeps their family strong, it does not stop inequity to rear its ugly face to show no mercy at all. As Scout matures, she often gets berated about her tomboyish attitude and her liking to the company of men instead of women, as well as her brother making conflicting comments by using her gender against her.
One of the goals of the literary theory of Feminist Criticism is to highlight and expose the patriarchy and misogynist behaviors and beliefs towards women. This theory can be applied to many literary works, including Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. In the final moments of Tom Robinson’s trial, Atticus makes a speech to the jury. Throughout his speech, Atticus makes several comments on how Tom Robinson did not commit the crime at all, blaming Mayella Ewell for bringing a false statement to court.
“The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.” This is a quote from Atticus Finch, a courageous and wise character from Harper Lee 's novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. The story is told through the perspective of a young girl, Jean Louise ¨Scout¨ Finch. She lives with her older brother, Jeremy, and widowed father and prominent lawyer, Atticus, in Maycomb, Alabama during the time of the Great Depression. Throughout the novel, the children experience the injustice and prejudice of society through a tough case that their father was appointed to and are taught to respect and tolerate all people, despite their differences.
The men in Scout’s life, especially Atticus and Jem, are not the main people that are forcing her into these gender roles. When Atticus is talking to scout or scolding her, gender never had any part in the discussion. The roles that the women are forcing her into are to serve the man, so naturally anyone would think that the men are behind this, however scouts home life proves that wrong. Atticus treats his children the way he would treat any random stranger on the street. “Atticus Finch is the same in his house as he is on the public streets.”
In the title of the book To Kill a Mockingbird, gender roles play a big part in the time that the book was written. There are many examples of people being told what they could and couldn’t do based on their gender, and insults thrown around that are gender-based. One example of gender roles in the book are Jem’s comments on Scout’s behavior, especially when Jem and Dill are about to break into the radley’s. As they are discussing it, and Scout comes up and starts pestering them about what they are doing, Jem remarks that Scout is “gettin’ more like a girl every day!” pg.
Imagine one day you wake up and many of your constitutional rights, such as the right to vote, are gone. In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Sexism plays a huge role in many scenarios throughout the story. For example, a quote in the novel states, “ ‘Scout, i’m tellin’ you for the last time to shut your trap or go home- I declare to the lord you’re gettin more like a girl every day.’ With that, I had no option but to join them.”(Lee
Atticus is a respectful man with a strong relationship with his children whom he wishes to teach his same values of respect. Atticus is a caring father who wants his children to be themselves and have a happy outlook on life. Scout is not the typical girl that most people in Maycomb think she should be. Atticus lets her wear overalls as opposed to dresses, which consequently, people judge him and his family for. Atticus also does not hit his children which is common to the time and where he lives.
Females in submissive roles were proved by giving examples of when females were looked down upon. An example was when Scout was when Scout wanted to play but was told she could not because she was a girl. Women undervalued was proven by giving the readers examples of when they were treated poorly because they didn’t meet societies standards. Finally, a difference in roles between females and males was shown by informing the readers about the ways that females were told to act compared to males and how it was unfair. Females were treated poorly and had unfair standards they were told they need to meet.
In To Kill A Mockingbird, Harper Lee portrays Scout a tomboy who contradicts the stereotype of the southern ideal little girl during the 1930’s. As Scout is a fighting, masculine, and cursing tomboy. For instance, Scout gets angry at Walter Cunningham, and she starts “rubbing his nose in the dirt” fighting Walter Cunningham (Lee 30). An act forbidden by the social norms of the southern belle. Furthermore, the ideal little “girls didn’t resort to violence” or profanity (Johnson 152).
Feminism, to put it simply, is the equality among genders and sexes. This movement is made to include every single person to every single aspect in life without exceptions. “To Kill A Mockingbird” demonstrate different features of feminism, from misogyny to the patriarchic system in which society mostly accept and where they functions, it all connects and ties into the novel and life itself. This idea comes from the author’s childhood and the environment where she grew up in, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a novel of historical fiction written by Harper Lee and was first published in the year 1960’s. Beloved by a lot of readers (winning many awards including Pulitzer Prize in the year 1961), Lee’s only novel has portrayed her own childhood life,