Gender Roles in To Kill a Mockingbird
In the novel To Eliminate a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses the lead character to draw parallels to her individual experiences. Like Jean-Louise Finch, Harper Lee also did not follow society’s gender expectations. Throughout the 1930’s, the time duration in which the story occurs, the culture of Maycomb was that women were expected to be a specific method and were not treated as if they were equal to guys. Scout’s personality breaks away from standard gender roles as a result of her childhood and good example.
Scout does not follow the expectations of a conventional southern lady. Throughout the novel, Scout is depicted to be extremely spirited and rather frustrating which is not the common behaviour of a woman. One circumstances would be where Scout nearly gets into a physical fight with Cecil Jacobs, a boy in her class, over him stating that her dad, Atticus Finch, safeguards niggers as he was safeguarding a black guy in court, Tom Robinson who was implicated of raping a white woman.”It was the first time I ever walked away from a fight” (Lee,85) Scout has never ignored a physical run-in with a person, this reveals Scout’s valiancy for a girl or a southern belle. Asouthern belle is the term utilized to describe the white Southern American female who was expected to have a particular class level and practice typical female decency. Even more into Scout’s character, she dresses in a different way from a lot of girls her age as she uses overalls and pants while ladies her age would use dresses. “When I said I could do nothing in a dress, she said I wasn’t supposed to be doing things that needed pants” (90 ). This describes a conversation in between Scout and Aunt Alexandra where Aunt Alexandra essentially mentions that since Scout is a girl, she must not be spending her time doing boylike activities that require her to use pants, this blatantly reveals Auntie’s Alexandra’s expectations for Scout in terms of Scout to be more like a woman but Scout continues to oppose southern belle expectations as she does her own thing and dresses as she desires. Following up on this, it is not considered lady like for a girl to swear but Scout does it anyway due to the fact that she rebels against the norm of expressing herself in a correct manner for a lady.” […] Francis, what the hell do you indicate” (92) Scout curses Francis for calling Atticus a nigger fan as Scout is difficult for a woman. She does not deliberately act and carry about herself like this however it is just her being around young boys most the time that is a main cause.
Scout had a non-traditional childhood. This was so because she didn’t have a female role model in her life. Her mother passed away when she was just two years old and this impacted her significantly. “Our mother died when I was 2, so I never ever felt her lack” (6 ). As an outcome of Scout’s mother not being around, Scout is not inclined to do the things ladies do rather of having fun with her brother Jem Finch and their neighbours nephew, Dill. upbringing. Her father instilled most of the ethical worths in her life like equality as he worked in the law court and always attempted to do what was right. She was brought up to think in equality as well as she had a mind of her own which reveals her unconventional childhood. Scout also handled to do things on her own “she found I was literate and looked at me with more than a faint distaste” (17 ). Scout states right before Miss Caroline scolds her as she had currently learned to read prior to she started school which was not typical for children her age in Maycomb however she was full of initiative which aggravates Miss Caroline. She had her own personality but she was not supposed to understand how to read which caused issues for her instructor but this shows how Scout was various from other kids as her daddy brought her as much as be open minded. Her dad encouraged her to be herself. ‘She injure my feelings and set my teeth permanently on edge, however when I asked Atticus about it, he said […] he didn’t mind me much the way I was” (90) After being told that she does not behave like a “sun beam” and required modification, her father consoles her as he pursues his child to be herself. Atticus is one of the main factors she remains with such an unique character along with extremely distinguishable. The upbringing she gets molded her into a mind frame that she can be who she wants even as she did not have a mother.
All of Scout’s good example are males. Throughout the unique, the primary past time of the children is visiting the spooky Radley house after hearing tales of Arthur Radley (who was called Boo Radley by the kids), Scout seemed to wish to fulfill Boo Radley and had a fascination for him as he wasn’t bad as Scout Jem and Dill perceived him to be. As Boo Radley seemed to be caring for them and watching out for them, Scout wanted to satisfy him since she idolized him. “We had actually almost seen him [Boo] a number of times, a sufficient rating for anybody. But I still searched for him each time I went by. Possibly one day we would see him. I imagined how it would be: when it took place”( 278 ). He is among the good example in Scout’s life as she tries to comprehend why he is the method he is and the reasoning behind him remaining inside all the time. Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, is the primary role model in Scout’s life as he is her only remaining moms and dad and Scout is brought up by him and is taught many lessons. As he is a man, he could not have actually taught his daughter the important things that Scout’s mom might’ve taught her, resulting in her training resembling such a of boy’s upbringing. Atticus teaches her valuable lessons throughout and she values whatever that her father teaches her in her life. “Atticus had actually guaranteed me he would use me out if he ever became aware of me fighting any longer; I was far too old and too big for such childish things, and the faster I learned to keep in, the better off everyone would be”. (82 )This reveals that Scout considers her father’s viewpoint and listens to it rather of brushing it off as tomfoolery while if someone else told her she would not even consider it if it was somebody like Ms. Dubose. Scout’s dad does not motivate or require her to be anything like a southern belle as he believes in equality in basic and since that is one of the good example in her life, she is a lot like him.Jem is the third primary role model in her life which is quite obvious as Jem is her older sibling. “Jem was a born hero”( 44) Scout calls Jem this as she is referring to how brave he is in playing the role of Boo Radley in the game they play which was pretending that Jem was Boo Radley. She looks up to Jem and appreciates him as her 3rd primary good example. Due to the truth that all of her role models are males, Scout is various from the women her age as they would mostly have female good example in their lives and scout did not, so interests, pastimes etc would all be different highlighting the fact that Scout is not conforming to society’s expectations.
Throughout the unique, Scout has rebelled against gender roles naturally as she has her own character, unlike most of Maycomb’s population. Scout proves that a person ought to not be required to act a particular way because of their gender and that one need to act in a manner in which they believe is right, considering their character and their suitable values.As such, in To Eliminate a Mockingbird, gender roles are utilized to manage the character’s behaviour nevertheless Scout breaks away from these gender roles.