To Kill A MockingBird Themes

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Growing up


Fear against otherness




‘Crimson finger-nail polish […] high-heeled pumps.’ Page 22, Scout.

- Colour connotations of red – feminine colour, out of place. Olfactory imagery – childish.


‘Scout, sometimes you act so much like a girl its mortifying’ Page 44, Jem

- May show evidence if the children’s indoctrination into Maycomb Society.

- Growing distance, gender prejudice, insults are hints of ingrained prejudice in society.


‘Not like a lady sewed ‘em, like somethin’ I’d try to do.’ Page 64, Jem.

- Dramatic irony as we know its Boo. Significance of the repaired trousers is a symbol of Boo’s kindness/selflessness. As a reader through dramatic irony we recognize this.


‘’You’ll want to grow up to be a lady, don't you?’ I said not particularly.’ Page 85, Uncle Jack and Scout.

- Gender stereotypes & Expectation of southern women in the 1930s


‘-what are you doing in those overalls? You should be in a dress and camisole, young lady!’ Page 107, Mrs. Dubose.

- Mrs. Dubose is also presented as a women who does not abide by a transgression of femininity. Her criticism of scout demonstrates Maycomb’s gender prejudice and how Scout defies archetypal gender roles.


‘I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl.’ Page 121, Scout.

- Attitude comes from Maycomb Societies prejudice against women. In bildungsroman form Scout begins to appreciate things for herself.


‘She made me wear a petticoat and she wrapped a pink sash tightly around my waist.’ Page 123, Scout.

- The verb choice of ‘Made’ highlights scouts resistance and conversely Calpurnia’s pride in the children.


‘The men stepped back and took off their hats; the women crossed their arms at their waists.’ Page 124, Scout.

- Much like at the start of the trial the African Americans are represented as respectful, dignified and civilized to their own and white people. But also that men are seen as more civilized to white people than the women.


‘We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence.’ Page 133, Aunt Alexandra.

- Aunt A’s direct speech, ‘we’ first person collective pronoun is ironic given that scout realizes that Cal is a girl in her indirect thought, undermines Aunt A


‘She wore a hat and gloves.’ Page 165, Scout.

- Satirizes her for dressing up for a ‘gala occasion’


‘They said it was because she found out about his colored woman.’ Page 167, Scout.

- The same indirect speech is used here using the 3rd person pronoun in order to highlight the children’s misconception through the rumors of Maycomb society.


‘I heard Mayella screamin’ like a stuck hog inside the house.’ Page 178, Bob Ewell.

- Animalistic imagery connotes violence, and grotesque nature. Shows irony but also that Tom Robinson as a mockingbird and being compassionate.


‘Somehow fragile-looking […] thick-bodied girl accustomed to strenuous labour.’


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