Theme Of Gender Inequality In To Kill A Mockingbird

Decent Essays

Harper Lee’s widely acclaimed novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, addresses many themes that continue to influence our modern world. At first glance, the book seems to dwell mainly on racism and injustice, but a deeper look reveals other themes, such as gender inequality and social class. This has proved one of the main reasons that it remains as relevant today as it was at the time of its publishing. Not only are its themes varied, but very few of them are neatly resolved, making it a simple, honest portrayal. It often went both ways, as shown in the book – men believed (that they were/ themselves to be) superior to women, but women saw themselves as more sensible and logical than men. Gender inequality is prominently/principally …show more content…

Miss Maudie spends much of her time in the gardens, but she also has a penchant for cooking and a thorough knowledge of scripture. But despite her resourcefulness, strength of character, and extensive knowledge of scripture, Atticus tells Scout and Jem, “‘For one thing, Miss Maudie can’t serve on a jury because she’s a woman’” (252). The three later laugh, saying that perhaps this restriction might prove a good thing, as women on a jury would continually interrupt to ask too many questions, but these possible queries seem little more than how Atticus’s own questioning of Mayella Ewell.

To Kill a Mockingbird also presents examples of reverse gender bias. This is mainly shown/demonstrated in Tom Robinson’s court case, as Mayella takes advantage of the judges’ sympathy. Not only was Mayella young and white, which already gained her a better standing than Tom Robinson, but she was also a woman. These combined factors gained her sympathy somewhat more easily from the judges during the hearing than Tom, even though the latter was infinitely more polite, humble, and honest. When trying to convince Atticus to carry a rifle, Scout says, “Jem said it might work if I cried and flung a fit, being young and a girl” (249). This is essentially

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