Discrimination In To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee

2087 Words9 Pages
Discrimination has a lot of layers including racism, gender roles, and class that cause minorities to get held back and criticized by society. The fiction novel, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, takes place in a small Southern town in the U.S during the 1930’s. The 1930’s was a time filled with discrimination caused by the economic tension of the Great Depression. Throughout the novel, the characters such as Scout Finch, the Cunningham family, and Tom Robinson all endure discrimination whether it is for their gender, their race, or even for their social class. In the novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee proves that discrimination, throughout the 1930’s, such as class, gender stereotypes, and racism, lead to the downfalls of characters.…show more content…
During the time period of the novel, women and girls were expected to act “ladylike”. They dressed up in fancy outfits such as dresses, and never wore overalls or breeches, which is what Scout prefers. Girls were stereotypically seen as weaker than boys, and Scout’s brother, Jem makes it evident to Scout when she is acting like a “girl”. Jem shames her by stating, “Scout, I’m tellin’ you for the last time, shut your trap or go home-I declare to the lord you’re getting’ more like a girl everyday!”(Lee 69). When Dill and Jem come up with the idea to walk to the Radley house and look through the window, Scout declares that she thinks it is a bad idea and she begins questioning them. In Jem’s opinion, she is acting like a girl because if she were to act like a boy, then she would be brave enough to go to the Radley house. Ever since a young age, Scout has been brought up around her brother Jem which causes her to become more like a “tomboy”. She feels pressure to act more masculine to avoid getting poked fun at by Jem. Scout is not only made fun of by her brother, but she is also made fun of by Aunt Alexandra’s missionary ladies. During the missionary ladies meeting, Miss Maudie proceeds to say, “Where are your britches today?””Under my dress”(Lee 307). Aunt Alexandra invites Scout to have tea with her and the missionary ladies at her missionary meeting. The women attending the meeting, however, corner Scout with their questions and are secretly making fun of her. Scout is surprisingly wearing a dress and the missionary ladies fool around with her by asking where her britches are. It is then that Scout decides she prefers the presence of men. She explains how men are straightforward and say everything as it is but women are hypocritical, such as the missionary ladies who act nice but are secretly poking fun at her. Finally, Scout struggles with gender stereotypes when Aunt
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