Gender Roles In Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

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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
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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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