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Presentation of Females TKAM

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What do we learn about life in Maycomb County in the 1930s from the presentation of female characters in this book? In To Kill a Mockingbird, there are many female characters that have different statuses and are used to show what life was like in the 1930s in Maycomb. We learn about many different aspects of life in Maycomb and I will be exploring a few of them in this essay. Scout, the narrator of this story, tells us the ways and lifestyle of people in Maycomb. The novel begins by Scout telling the reader about the county. It says 'There was no hurry, for there was nowhere to go, nothing to buy and no money to buy it with.' This implies that Maycomb was going through the Great Depression. Scout describes this Depression-era as 'an old tired town when I first knew it.' The poverty of certain families is shown by Scout when she encountered the Cunningham family. When Atticus helped Walter Cunningham with his entailment, he was paid with food and firewood. Scout asked him why he was paid in this way and Atticus replied, 'The Cunninghams are country folks, farmers, and the crash hit them the hardest. Scout tended to dress in overalls and copied her brother Jem. In Maycomb, girls were expected to wears dresses and become 'interested in clothes and boys'. ...read more.


The presentation of Miss Maudie shows us the not everyone in Maycomb was prejudiced against blacks. An example of this is, '[Calpurnia] "yes sir," she murmured, fumbling at her apron. Miss Maudie went to Calpurnia and untied it.' This shows that Miss Maudie was willing to help Calpurnia. From Miss Maudie, we learn that Atticus was still respected by some people even after his case. She teaches us that some people believed that Tom Robinson was innocent and that was why Judge Taylor chose the best lawyer, Atticus, to defend him. The black society in Maycomb helps us to learn about the way of life there. We learn that black people were prejudiced and weren't treated equally to white people. We learn this from Calpurnia. She is the source of many arguments between Atticus and Alexandra as Alexandra does not want her in the house anymore. The presentation of Calpurnia was that she was slightly big and her body was built for doing work, 'her hand as wide as a bed slat and twice as hard.' This shows that she was a servant and hard-working. When Calpurnia took Jem and Scout to the 'black' church, they come across Lula. Lula teaches us that as well as the white people hating the blacks, the black people also hated the whites, 'You ain't got no business bringin' white chillum here - they got their church, we got our'n. ...read more.


You simply are not being a Christian today.' Once again, she is being a hypocrite because she herself is complaining. This shows that the people of Maycomb couldn't see the hypocrisy and prejudiced nature of their ways. Finally, Mrs Gates tells us about the life in Maycomb County. Mrs Gates, Scout's teacher, asks what is meant when she writes 'WE ARE A DEMOCRACY'. Scout says that it means 'equal rights for all, special privileges for none.' This shows that the people of Maycomb couldn't see that they were prejudicing the blacks and they were not a democracy because the black society did not have equal rights. Mrs Gates then said how bad it was how Hitler was treating the Jews, however, before she said this, she was complaining to Stephanie Crawford about the bad qualities of black people. This also shows the hypocrisy of the people in Maycomb. In conclusion, the presentation of female characters makes us learn a lot about life in Maycomb County in the 1930s. It makes us see the hypocrisy of the white people, the prejudice against Negroes and the evils of gossiping. We learn that there was a caste system in Maycomb and the status of the family influenced the society's view on them. We also learn through Scout's narrative the stereotypical attitudes held by Maycomb and that people in Maycomb could not always see their unjust ways. Altogether, we learn a great deal about Maycomb in many different aspects from the presentation of female characters. ...read more.

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