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Stereotyped Characters In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

Good Essays
When stereotyped characters are employed successfully in a novel, they can be very beneficial in achieving the author’s purpose. In the book To Kill A Mockingbird, the author’s main purpose is to convey the societal norms of racism, ignorance depending on class, how innocence can be destroyed due to prejudice, and even sexism in the 1930s. Rhetorical devices can be used to create a connection to the reader and improve the flow of paragraphs. Harper Lee uses metaphor, ethos, logos, and the stereotyped characters of Tom Robinson, Scout Finch, Atticus Finch and the jury to help portray the societal normalities of the 1930s town of Maycomb, Alabama.

One of the characters that Harper Lee uses is Tom Robinson to show the reader the abundance of
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Scout Finch has been stereotyped to be a tomboy who prefers pants and overalls over dresses and male friends as opposed to being friends with other girls. The women of Maycomb wanted her to be more like a “proper Southern Belle.” Her family wanted her to wear dresses even though she had said she “felt the starched walls of a pink cotton penitentiary, and for the second time in [her] life, [she] felt like running away. Immediately.” Harper Lee used this metaphor to give the reader a better idea of how Scout felt trapped in that piece of clothing due to the girlyness it resembled. Scout compared it to a penitentiary because of the oppression she had to endure when she was made wear it. This is how Lee portrays the expected behavior of young women in the early 1900s. In contrast, from when she was a young girl, she wanted to be fully accepted by her brother, but to acquire his approval, she had to be less like a stereotypical girl. “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,” is a thought Scout had after Jeremy had told her that she was overthinking things like a girl and she should not act like one. Harper Lee demonstrated the oppression Scout felt when told to act like a stereotypical lady in the
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