Social Injustice In To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

1014 Words5 Pages
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
Open Document