Scout Finch Discrimination

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If it's a sin to kill a mockingbird, why are the innocent discriminated against? The novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, explores this fundamental question. Varied types of prejudice and discrimination are shown through the eyes of Scout Finch, the eight year-old protagonist and narrator of the story. Taking place in 1930s Alabama, the novel shows not only racial, but also gender and socioeconomic-based discrimination, some of this faced by neighbors, friends, and even Scout herself. The lessons that she learns about racism are totally applicable to all types of prejudice because the source of all hate is one's education, or lack thereof. The racism in the story is quite apparent through the characters' attitudes and feelings towards…show more content…
This is shown most apparently when Scout and Jem's Aunt Alexandra is introduced. Her intentions were pure- she wanted to serve as a maternal role model for her niece and nephew and “figure out what was proper for the Finch family” She tells Scout that women are meant to, “Rock slowly, fan gently, and drink cool water”, trying to tame her rowdy, adventurous, and energetic personality. Alexandra also gives Scout dresses instead of overalls, criticizes her friends, and tries to make her into a stereotype of femininity, calling the way Scout dresses, speaks, and acts, “unladylike”. Jem also tries to patronize Scout for being a girl, telling her that “girls always imagined things, and thats why everyone hated them, and explodes at her once, saying that,” 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 every day!", as if “acting like a girl' was something to be ashamed of. It's implied many times throughout the novel that being a gentleman is of more value and prestige than being a lady. The issue with this is that there is no definition of neither femininity nor masculinity, yet people still try to conform themselves and others into categories. Sexism and categorization must also be combated with not only education but also general acceptance of people's decisions of gender, personality, and how they categorize
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