ScOUT of the Box: Analyzing Social Injustices in TKAM “What’s the worst possible thing you can call a woman? Don’t hold back, now. You’re probably thinking of words like slut, whore, b***h, c**t (I told you not to hold back!), sk*nk. Okay, now, what are the worst things you can call a guy? F*g, girl, b***h, p***y... The worst thing you can call a girl is a girl. The worst thing you can call a guy is a girl. Being a woman is the ultimate insult” (Valenti). Scout Finch knows this better than anyone, despite her age. She is repeatedly looked down upon by her family and friends for not acting parallel to gender norms. Her relationship with her father, Atticus, and housekeeper, Calpurnia, also bring forth issues surrounding the way she was …show more content…
In the 1930s, white people were not typically looked down upon for their skin, but when Cal invites Scout and Jem to her church, the children experience a taste of racial prejudice firsthand. Another churchgoer, Lula, does not take kindly to the new guests and decides to confront them. “Lula stopped, but she said, ‘You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here- they got their church and we got our’n. It is our church, ain’t it, Miss Cal?’” to which Calpurnia defends herself by replying, “‘It’s the same God, ain’t it?’” (Lee 158). Another case in which Scout is condescendingly treated for her friendship occurs when Aunt Alexandra denies a proposition to visit the Calpurnia’s house. As she explains to her father, “Yessum, and she promised me I could come out to her house some afternoon. Atticus, I’ll go next Sunday if it’s all right, can I?...” a voice cuts in from the other side of the room, ‘You may not.’ Aunt Alexandra said it” (Lee 181). The objection stems from Alexandra’s close-minded beliefs of white supremacy and secluded femininity. Seeing as the only woman figure is black and encourages Scout’s tomboyish ways, like her wearing overalls, her reactions are nothing surprising. People of all races disapprove of the relationship between Scout and Calpurnia, contributing to Harper Lee’s purpose for writing To Kill a …show more content…
The ignorant people of Maycomb don’t approve of Atticus allowing her to wear masculine clothing and play in the mud with her brother. Her aunt, being of the stubborn population, attempts to control what Scout wears. “Aunt Alexandra was fanatical on the subject of my attire. I could not possibly hope to be a lady if I wore breeches; when I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn’t supposed to be doing things that require pants” (Lee 108). This blatant oppression, rude as it may be, is still ineffective on the free-spirited Scout, allowing her to break the confines of society. Continuing the tradition of persecution in the Finch family, Uncle Jack reprimands his niece for saying a swear word. He tries to coerce Scout into ceasing her profane ways by explaining, “Scout, you’ll get in trouble if you go around saying things like that. You want to grow up a lady, don’t you?” (Lee 105). Jack and Alexandra don’t understand her mind and don’t put themselves in her situation like Atticus. Despite the futile attempts of her family, Scout never conforms to the discriminatory society expectations for
In the world right now, there is still inequality for all. People are criticized everyday because of how they look, speak, dress, act, etc. In America, although there is people that are changing, there with always be that small group of people that won’t change their views on what they believe is right and wrong in our society. You can also see this in the book, To Kill A Mockingbird, written by author, Harper Lee. All throughout the novel, you can see how white people are superior to the African Americans that live in the same town.
Harper Lee created the Bildungsroman novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ to expose the historical events of the 1930s and to build awareness of the partiality and segregation between the blacks and the whites through the didactic character of Calpurnia, an African American woman. Lee specifically constructed this intriguing character to combat the social and cultural values of the fictitious town of Maycomb to reinforce particular themes and to assist in the development of the protagonist, Scout Finch. She is parallel to Atticus in her lessons of respect, politeness and compassion and simultaneously exhibits tolerance of society’s hard line approach to segregation. In this time of social turbulence, the state legislature ratified the Jim Crow Laws, discriminatory laws that were heavily entrenched in society to maintain the ascendancy of the whites as they were considered to be biologically and intellectually
At school, Scout nearly starts a fight with a classmate named Cecil Jacobs after he declares that her “daddy defends niggers” (Lee, 74). Scout being too young to fully understand this statement automatically denies it. Atticus, who has been asked to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman has received many controversial remarks on his take of the case. Although Scout does not initiate the fight with Cecil, her “fists [a]re clenched and [she is] ready to let [them] fly” (Lee, 74). This depicts another one of Scout’s un-ladylike reactions because the ladylike response would be to simply ignore the boy and to remain prim and proper.
Atticus shows respect towards Calpurnia by treating her with respect and kindness, despite the racial prejudices of the town. He recognizes her value as a member of his household and as a person and treats her accordingly. For example, he explains to Alexandra that, “...Calpurnia’s not leaving this house until she wants to. You may think otherwise, but I couldn’t have got along without her all these years. She’s a faithful member of this family and you’ll simply have to accept things the way they are…” (155).
Scout judged her from her personality and bases her perceptions of Calpurnia solely on that. She may be young, however, it is Scout’s lack of experience of the concept of race and racism that makes her uneducated in this whole topic. Scout can
In Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird”, the issue of Southern Womanhood is brought up many times throughout the novel. Lee uses many different characters to help show how she viewed Southern Womanhood. Specifically she uses, Scout, Mayella Ewell, and Scout’s Aunt Alexandra. In "To Kill A Mockingbird", Harper Lee uses specific characters to show how negative of an impact Southern Womanhood used to have. Harper Lee uses Scout in many cases to show how she thought Southern Womanhood used to have a negative impact.
She inspires Scout to be who she wants to be, and shows that dresses are not required to be a lady. During one of the many meetings on Miss Maudie’s porch, she tells Scout, “You are too young to understand it … but sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hand of ― oh, of your father,”(Lee 60). Scout immediately jumps to Atticus’s defense, saying that he has never drunk at all except for one time when he tried it and realized he didn’t like it. Miss Maudie laughs and explains that what she meant was, “If Atticus Finch drank until he was drunk he wouldn’t be as hard as some men are at their best,”(Lee 60).
She teaches these kids that it’s not always the right thing to do what everybody else is doing. Calpurnia looks after these children and takes them in as her own when she is told to. Atticus shows the most examples of courage in this story. He teaches his people many lessons, especially his children.
41, and Atticus finds out. Scout gets worried that Atticus might know that what they were playing was related to the radleys, and tells Scout that she “was being a girl, that girls always imagined things, that’s why other people hated them so, and if I started behaving like one I could just go off and find some to play with.” this is one of the biggest examples of gender in the book, and shows that being a girl is the highest and worst insult, even amongst the children. And a few pages later, Scout says that she tried to avoid Jem and Dill because she was called a girl once and didn't want to be called a girl again. This really cements how much of an insult it is to be called a girl.
Atticus is Scouts father and he is also a lawyer. He raises his children by himself, with the help of his housekeeper named Calpurnia. She is an African American but Scout’s family treat her as if they she is one of them. Racial asfsd is a huge problem in this book that Scout’s family faces constantly.
Scout learns a lesson when Calpurnia yells, “Don’t matter who they are, anybody who sets foot in this house’s yo’ comp’ny.” after Scout embarrassed Walter by saying he has bad manners (Lee 33). Scout learned that she should always respect others. She was embarrassed by what she said because she realized it was wrong. Scout is surrounded by people in her town who are judgemental, and she
She didn 't fully understand what was going on therefore can 't comprehend the miscarriages of justice. As she can 't fully compose adult commentary, the novel was shown in innocence. One advantage of reading this novel from Scout 's point of view is when she experiences something for the first time, so does the reader. Such as when she goes to Cal 's church and experiences the bitterness some black members have towards white members in
“You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here-they got their church, we got our’n” (p. 119) Lula, a colored woman is a prime example of the two way road of racism. When Scout and Jem hear this they are completely astonished by the fact that the white race is looked down upon by other races. Racism is a problem that affects everyone; even the “master” race. “Now don’t you be so confident Mr. Jem, I ain’t ever seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a
In the novel, Lee uses Scout to demonstrate how the expectations of society are pushed onto girls at a young age. One of the characters who forces these expectations onto Scout is Aunt Alexandra. Often times she ridicules Atticus for allowing Scout to wear breeches and be “unladylike.” During the Christmas party at Finch’s landing, Scout and Alexandra have a conversation about what is proper to wear.