To Kill a Mockingbird

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Feminism and Anti-Feminism in To Kill A Mockingbird.

Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird presents two types of women in the Depression era south. There are the women who support the feminist movement, and those who are the standard Southern women that society expects them to be. Some women revolt against the standards inadvertently, they are just being themselves. This contrast represents changing attitudes toward traditional roles.

Scout Finch and Miss Maudie are two women who are supporting the feminist perspective of Maycomb, Alabama. Scout takes umbrage at being called a girl, and loves to play with her brother, Jem, and friend, Dill. Scout refused to be considered a girl. When Jem and Dill were going somewhere, and Scout didn’t want to because she was scared, Jem called her a girl and Scout felt she had to join to prove to them otherwise. “’I declare to the Lord you’re getting’ more like a girl every day!’ With that, I had no option but to join them.” (52). Scout wears overalls and plays in dirt, unlike the rest of the young girls in Maycomb. Miss Maudie Atkinson is an older woman, well into the age where she should be married, but she isn’t. Miss Maudie is an independent woman who lives and supports herself. She is part of the feminist movement because it was standard for the Southern woman to have a man to take care of them.

Scout’s Aunt Alexandra is a perfect Southern lady. She stands for everything a traditional Southern woman is supposed to, She wears dresses, and she hosts tea parties, and gossips. She stands by the thought that only old, white families are of value, and that every family had a “streak”. Whether it is a drinking “streak” or an incest “streak”, Aunt Alexandra has something against everybody. She gossips and tries to make believe she is perfect. She despises Scout’s overalls and she tries so hard to force Scout to be the perfect Southern lady that Scout has no desire to become. Mrs. Dubose is another “perfect Southern woman.” She...
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