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
The act of prejudice is one that everyone experiences. Whether it be, a person who is distributing hate, or a person who is receiving hate, everyone has contact with it. Although it is present all over the globe, it is prominent in the United States. Both in the present and the past, endless acts of discrimination have taken place and left a monumental impact on the country. The effect that it leaves can be seen in the novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. In this story, sexism, racism, and isolation, are demonstrated in the small Southern town of Maycomb, Alabama during the 1930’s. As the story progresses, Lee compares these concepts to one another and uses them to make a statement about the problematic nature in America.
The main issue of the section we are acting out of Chapter 11 in “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee is the prejudice that Ms. Dubose holds. She is both sexist and racist, both forms of prejudice that were common back in her generation, but were finally starting to change at that time. Aunt Alexandra and Ms. Dubose, most likely having been raised in the same time period, were both offended by Scout wearing pants. Ms. Dubose specifically asked ‘What are you doing in those overalls? You should be in a dress and camisole, young lady!’ (Lee, 101), which is greatly reminiscent of what Alexandra said at Christmas. Obviously, they were both raised with the same morals about having to wear dresses, causing them to be unintentionally sexist and myopic.
Social inequality is an uncivilized ranking scale which was created by simple minded people who held the fear being surpassed. The argument made by Harper Lee in her work To Kill a Mockingbird is that social inequality is a hierarchy that is complex and affects everyone. More specifically, the author argues that the racial boundaries put between the black and white during the 1930’s caused great stress. This is proven in the novel multiple times. The people of Maycomb judge one another based on the background and wealth of their families. Not only do they judge each other within the community, they discriminate against anyone different than them. Social inequality does not only exist in the form of racism, there are many forms; some of the major ones appear in this book. Social inequality based purely on family background, social inequality based on the wealth of the individual and family, and racism. These are three of the major forms of social inequality that appear numerous times in the book.
In the book ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ by Harper Lee, racism and social inequality are two central themes. Many different forms of social inequality coexist in the society depicted in the book, as the people of Maycomb are very rigid in their ways. This is because the book takes place in a time at which there was much racism and social inequality. In Maycomb, firstly there is discrimination between rich and poor white people, who do not often interact with each other. There is also racism against blacks by all white people in society, both rich and poor. Black people are denied basic rights and discriminated against in this town. Lastly, there is racism between the lowest classes of the community: poor white people and
Why do people want to change the way we live our life? I don’t fit in, so what? In the book “To Kill a Mockingbird”, Lee uses characterization and tone in order to convey the idea that in society every gender has to follow their code of conduct, consequently it restricts people from being themselves in order to fit in.
Throughout the book, you can often see sexist beliefs. Written in the 1950s, based in the 1930s, Harper Lee wrote To Kill A Mockingbird to challenge and expose many injustices occurring in society in those time periods. One of those injustices is Sexism. Sexism is the discrimination of someone based on their gender. In the 1930s, the sexism was usually towards women. Sexism often promote discrimination in jobs, discrimination from men to women through comments, and discrimination from every one through actions.
Throughout To Kill a Mockingbird, prejudices against gender roles are evident in a multitude of ways. For example, Scout states, “Until it happened I did not realize that Jem was offended by my contradicting him on Hot Steams..” (41). Scout saying this establishes the idea that girls are not to suppose to contradict boys. Dill is embarrassed and ashamed that a girl is not believing him and he takes offense to that. Miss. Maudie Atkinson is faced with the stereotypes of being a woman. Everyone expects her to stay inside and do housework. In fact, Miss. Maudie Atkinson declares, “I hate my house: time spent indoors is time wasted.” (47). Here it is evident that Miss. Atkinson is breaking her gender role. During this time period, women were viewed in a way
Social inequality based entirely on race affects people who don’t deserve it. To Kill a Mockingbird original publication was in 1960, it is a classic novel written by Harper Lee, the book is set in 1933 to 1935. To Kill a Mockingbird takes place in a small town called Maycomb, Alabama and follows two years in the life of 7-year old Scout Finch, her brother Jem, and their father Atticus, an attorney who hopelessly strives to prove the innocence of a black man accused of rape. The book also talks about Boo Radley, a mysterious neighbour who saves Scout and her brother Jem from being killed. The definition of social and legal codes are social codes made up of rules and standards, and a legal system is a code of laws made by a state or nation. Throughout the book, social and legal codes are exploited by people to help maintain their social status. In Maycomb County, social and legal laws harm black people to protect white people, such as Atticus Finch, Bob Ewell, and Tom Robinson.
Inequality is a theme that runs throughout all of history. Harper Lee uses the theme of inequality in her book, To Kill a Mockingbird. Tom Robinson must deal with inequality when he is accused of a crime he didn’t commit because no one will trust a black man over a white man. The Cunningham family must face discrimination because of their lack of money. Scout even faces inequality when she tries to play with Jem and Dill. The theme of inequality is a strong one in Lee’s book, and her use of inequality doesn’t only define racism, but also discrimination based on wealth and gender.
Race is the dominant cause of inequality in To Kill A Mockingbird, thus Maycomb’s views on race heavily influence every aspect of life. Although racial inequality is clearly illustrated in the in the injustice, prejudice, discrimination and antagonism surrounding the Tom Robinson trial, it is also shown more subtly throughout the novel. In chapter 25 Atticus Finch is quoted disclosing that the corrupt justice system is a direct cause of a racist society. “In our courts, when it's a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins” (Pg 295). To emphasize, on the same occasion Atticus attempts to explain to his children how widely spread racism is, “As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men everyday of your life”
Martin Luther King Jr. once said “our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” However, I will not be silent. Sexism is a thing of the past, present, and future. Women have never been seen as equal to men. This idea and concept affect how women carry out their lives. Women may act different or speak different just based on society's thoughts about their gender. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee and in today’s society it is clear that because of women’s perceived “weakness”, men now dominate women legally, physically and financially.
During the story Atticus is appointed to defend Tom Robinson, a Black man accused of raping a young white woman, Mayella Ewell. Even though many of Maycomb’s citizens disapprove, Atticus agrees to defend Tom in hopes he could give some justice to Tom. Later in the plot it is made abundantly clear that Mayella did not have relations with Tom, and was only trying to cover for her dad, Bob Ewell, who had beaten and raped her before, but before this information was found Tom was convicted and murdered. The trial and conviction serve as high points in the story because soon after the readers learn Tom is convicted purely based on his color of skin. “In our courts, when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins” (Lee, page 251-252). The written discrimination put a black man behind bars based on false information and nobody blinked an eye. The lesson that Scout learns is applicable to all types of prejudice because people who are different from ones self may feel separated and that in order to hold ones power, processions, and status, privileged races or people much like Bob Ewell will justify their behaviors in order to keep the other races
Harper Lee's ‘To kill a Mockingbird’ explores the prejudicial issues which plague over the town Maycomb. Harper Lee uses the trial of Tom Robinson a black man accused of rape on a young white girl, Mayella as a central theme to portray the prominence of racial discrimination in Maycomb. The racial prejudice is also widely shown through the characterisation of Atticus. Having Scout as the narrator allows Harper Lee to highlight the gender inequity through a youthful unbiased perspective. The chauvinistic attitudes and prejudiced views of most of the town’s folk leaves Maycombs social hierarchy in an unfair order, victimising many of the town’s people due to their socially non-conforming habits some ‘socially unaccepted people’ including Boo
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, is an ideal display of feminism that takes place during the period of depression in the south. It portrayed the two kinds of women found in the south during this time, the women who were pro the feminist movement, and the average Southern women. Sadly some women mistakenly rebelled against the ideals of society, by just being themselves. Men and women were to conduct themselves as ladies and gentlemen, were men were expected to dress in suit and ties and women were expected to wear dresses and be courteous. Since southern towns were so sheltered from the liberal views of the rest of the world they had no chose but to abide by these gender roles.
In the novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” one of the multiple dilemmas brought to light in the novel and the film is the social inequality. Rather it be at the suffering of a person of color to a woman or child; todays society still suffers from from the social inequality pointed out in the novel based on the 1930s, 1933 specifically and can be compared to some cases from the novel. Social inequality can be forced on anybody but more specifically pushes onto people of a colored ethnic background (color), the gender a person is born with or chooses to identify as (sexuality), or the religion they choose to practice and so on, however this essay is going to focus mainly on the three social inequalities listed above.