How Does Harper Lee Use Gender Roles In To Kill A Mockingbird

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HOW DOES HARPER LEE USE CHARACTERS IN TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, TO EXPLAIN SOME OF THE ISSUES IN ALABAMA IN THE 1930’S? Harper Lee use many characters to explain some of the issues in Alabama in the 1930’s. The character of Tom Robinson is used to teach the reader about racism and corruption within the judicial system. Aunt Alexandra and Scout represent how important people thought it was to become a lady and the sexism in that era. Aunt Alexandra is also used to show the significance of social classes in Alabama in the 1930’s along with the characters of Tom Robinson and Bob Ewell. Harper Lee’s use of a variety of characters allowed her to speak on many issues that were in Alabama at the time. Harper Lee uses Tom Robinson and his case to teach the reader about the…show more content…
Before the feminist movement of the 1960’s, society forced women to follow strict gender roles. Scout represents female children in the 1930’s who were raised by these gender roles that were not only put upon them by men, but women too. Because Scout’s mother passed away, her only role models are her father and her brother so as soon as Aunt Alexandra moves to Maycomb, she takes it upon herself to mould Scout and Jem into their gender roles. Scout is put under a lot more pressure from Aunt Alexandra to be more girly; "We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence. It won't be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys.” Aunt Alexandra’s comment is a reflection of the common values of Alabama in the 1930’s. Even Scout’s father, Atticus, who stands for equality makes a sexist comment when he was asked why there are no women in the juries at court; "I guess it's to protect our frail women from sordid cases like Tom's." This comment just goes to show that sexism and gender roles were a normal part of society that
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