• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Harper Lee's treatment of the theme of prejudice through her presentation of female characters in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Harper Lee?s treatment of the theme of prejudice through her presentation of female characters in ?To Kill a Mockingbird? Although the main theme of To Kill a Mocking Bird is racial prejudice, there is a very strong feeling that even in the ?white world? women are second class to men. Also there is the sense that with Calpurnia she has to be even more careful about what she says and does, being African-American and a woman showing that the tie between racial prejudice and the prejudice against women is strong. The theme of prejudice starts right at the being of the novel with Calpurnia?s comment about Mr Radley ?the meanest man ever God blew breath into.? This surprises the children at Calpurnia?s saying something, because it is significant that she should have commented on a white man. This is because in society African-Americans had a low status; it would have been out of place that she commented on the ways of a white man. ...read more.

Middle

Unlike Miss Stephanie and Mrs Dubose, she is friendly and tolerant. She is a very important role model for Scout as she is a sort of mother figure in Scout?s and possibly Jem?s life. She is accepted differently in Macomb society as she is not commented on for wearing overalls to garden in, even though Scout is constantly being reminded by Aunt Alexandra that she can?t possibly be a lady wearing overalls. This leaves the question is there in fact only a small amount of prejudice against women in society, but prejudice within classes, that because Scout is from a privileged back ground she is meant to be a ?Lady?. On the other hand this could be because although she gardens on overalls she does dress up as a lady in ?magisterial beauty? for occasions when she is needed to. Miss Maudie clearly shows her disapproval for ?foot-washing Baptists? who ?think women are a sin by definition?. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that the prejudice in this is that the women don?t really understand what they are talking about and are comment on things which they shouldn?t. Mrs Merriweather acts all high and mighty about the good which Christianity is doing, when in fact by being racist and prejudice she is going directly against something she believes in. Aunt Alexandra is a complex character who is almost obsessed with Scout becoming a ?Lady?, but as we get further into the book especially at the Missionary Tea she shows that she doesn?t hold the same prejudices as many of the other ladies of her class and understands many of the issues which the other ladies don?t. In To Kill a Mocking Bird there are many cases of prejudice against women, they come from many of the people in the book all from different classes and backgrounds. I think that it is obvious that Harper Lee dislikes all forms of prejudice but she does leave you to choose your views for yourself. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Harper Lee section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Harper Lee essays

  1. Peer reviewed

    Examine the different kinds of prejudice and injustice which you have found in 'To ...

    4 star(s)

    He has lost out on a significant proportion of his life. The citizens of Maycomb think him different because they do not know him and are ignorant of him. Boo is discriminated against through no fault of his own. The town have no regard for him and he is either gossiped about or forgotten.

  2. To Kill A Mockingbird Full Summary

    They are concerned that the "Sarum bunch" will get up to some trouble, though Atticus thinks they won't do anything (such as a lynching) on a Sunday night. Mr. Link Deas says that Atticus has everything to lose from the trial, but Atticus says that he wants the truth to come out.

  1. Compare and contrast how the role of childhood is presented in the novels To ...

    Pecola is described as 'agitated' and says: "Nobody's father would be naked in front of his own daughter. Not unless he was dirty too." (The Bluest Eye, P.55) Maureen had not mentioned her father, so obviously something had been happening at home that is only hinted at.

  2. The Presentation of Women in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’

    She is well loved by the whole of the family, especially the children. She is always out working in her garden, and is a source of company and information to the children.

  1. To kill a mocking bird - Chapter 14 Summary onwards.

    She is very distraught and cries in the witness stand, saying that she is afraid of Atticus. She finally tells Mr. Gilmer that her father asked her to chop up an old chiffarobe (chest of drawers) for kindling, but she didn't feel strong enough.

  2. Would you agree that Harper Lee and Alice Walker have created strong, morally stable ...

    The injustice of Southern America killed an innocent man. Tom stayed strong through his trial as he stood by his story, told the truth and was the morally just. He was strong in that he had the courage to break out of prison, but week enough not to live out his sentence.

  1. Write an essay on Harper Lee's presentation of the black characters in "To Kill ...

    In order to make us feel for the black characters, Harper Lee tells us about the natural and personal traits that the black characters in the novel have. She focuses on are Tom Robinson, Calpurnia, and Rev. Sykes. However we are told about other black characters when they are in

  2. How are Prejudice and Hypocrisy explored in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? Notes ...

    Look at all those folks, it's like a Roman carnival." Although Tom Robinson?s trial seems like a major moment for civil rights in Maycomb, the white men perceive this as a ?Gladiator? fight, where men were put into an arena and confront lions, gladiator and other gruesome methods.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work