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Gender Roles in To Kill a Mockingbird

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Camille Fouqueray

on 7 February 2013

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Transcript of Gender Roles in To Kill a Mockingbird

by Camille Fouqueray Gender Roles
To Kill a Mockingbird Thesis Statement It cannot be argued that To Kill a Mockingbird is not an enduring work. Why? Because it talks about themes that are still relevant today, and that people can relate to. Gender roles is one example of the many themes treated in this novel. Equality “You mean women in Alabama can’t -?” (p.244) Background In the past, women and men each had their own responsibilities, and had specific jobs. Women would take care of all housework, and men did all of the muscular work. Now in the Western World, men and women are equal, and can practice any profession they would like. However, in developing countries, both genders have specific roles, and are forced to do these roles as it is tradition, and a part of the culture. Jem “It’s time you started bein’ a girl and acting right!” (p.127) Allusions In To Kill a Mockingbird, there are many allusion as to how women and men were different in America in the 1950s.

For example, the older female characters in the novels are always either cooking, gardening, or gossiping about each other, which was a huge stereotype of what women were like at that time. “But I was more at home in my father’s world” (p.258) -Scout is much more comfortable in the male environment, as she has never had a female presence around her except for Calpurnia. All of the other ladies
are older, and she lost her mother at a very young age.

-This shows how much your environment shapes who you are.

-Harper Lee herself never had a very strong female role model, as her mother was mentally ill, and wasn't around much. Conclusion Everyone can relate to this novel.

Gender roles as a theme gives something other than racism to consider, and talk about.

Gender roles is still a relevant theme today.

For the first time, Scout realizes the sexism around her. Before she never noticed it, because she didn't think it was fun or interesting to be a girl, but as she grows up, she realizes that there are advantages to being a woman. “By watching her I began to
think there was some skill
involved in being a girl”
(p.127) Jem, who used to tell Scout to stop acting like a girl, and to be more courageous, is now telling her the opposite, as he is growing up.
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