Southern Womanhood In Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird

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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. Fairly early on in the book, Scout tells us about how Jem told her to go find girls to hangout with, “I was not so sure, but Jem told me I 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”(54). In this example, Scout had just finished trying to convince Jem that Atticus knew they were making fun of Boo Radley. The quote shows how Scout is expected to act like a girl and hangout with girls, because girls shouldn’t play rough with the boys. In another example, Aunt Alexandra tries to change the way Scout acts,…show more content…
First, she had to make up a story about Tom Robinson because she had kissed a black man, which was frowned upon for a white woman to do. “She was white and she tempted a Negro. She did something that in our society in unspeakable: she kissed a black man”(272). Mayella is also used as an example when she convinces the jury to convict an innocent black man because of Southern Womanhood. “That n***** took advantage of me, an’ if you fine fancy gentlemen don’t wanna do nothin’ about it then you’re all yellow stinkin’ cowards, stinkin’ cowards, the lot of you”(251). By saying this, Mayella reminds the jury that as men, it is their job to protect their women. So even though they may not think Tom is guilty, they convict him anyway for
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