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To Kill A Mockingbird Gender Roles Essay

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To Kill a Mockingbird Essay

“Men are taught to apologize for the weaknesses, women for their strengths.” (Lois Wyse) Gender roles are apart of life whether we like it or not, but in the 30s they were extremely prominent. Women were meant to look pretty and proper while men strong and masculine. In To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee writes from the perspective of an eight year old girl, Scout, about her life in Maycomb Alabama. She lives with her brother, Jem, and her father, Atticus. Atticus is assigned a case to represent a black man, named Tom Robinson, against a rape charge which angers a lot of people. Many of the chapters consist of the trial and in the end Tom is killed. Alongside dealing with the trial, Lee writes about
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The women of Maycomb were supposed to always act courteous and be polite towards others even when they didn’t want to be. One rule of being a proper girl is of course never to swear but Scout didn’t care to listen. As Scout was talking to her uncle she those kinds of words because she said she didn’t say it decided to throw in an extra word, “Aw that’s a damn story, I said.” Her uncle didn’t expect this and said “I beg your pardon? Atticus said, don’t pay attention to her, jack. She’s trying you out. Cal said she’s been cursing fluently for a week, now” (Lee 104) Although this is something any kid may do because they want to test their parents, as a young girl this is especially not allowed. Atticus is using his cleverness to just let Scout go on thinking it’s okay but she stops cussing because she doesn’t get any attention for it. But she needed to grow up knowing that swearing is not acceptable because it will make her seem trashy and unrespectable. Aunt Alexandra makes sure to let Scout know that using such language is not tolerable. When Alexandra was yelling at Scout for being mean to her cousin she tells her that she heard her say hell but Scout denied saying it. “I Thought I did. I’d better not hear it again.” (Lee 111) There was no way Scout’s aunt would let that go. She had to make sure Scout knew her mistake in swearing because that is no way for a lady to talk. Scout must’ve also realized it was not acceptable for her to say those words because she claimed she didn’t. She was aware of the lifestyle of a proper girl because there is really no way to avoid noticing how all her role models act, but she tested the limits. She may have noticed if a man chooses to use that type of language it is usually acceptable depending on the surroundings so why can't it be suitable for her to do it. Scout and many others probably have a tough time
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