To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird Women and Femininity Quotes Page 2

Page (2 of 4) Quotes:   1    2    3    4  
How we cite the quotes:

[Calpurnia] seemed glad to see me when I appeared in the kitchen, and by watching her I began to think there was some skill involved in being a girl. (12.8)

Until now, being a girl has been what happens when Scout fails to live up to Jem's standards of what a person should be. Watching Calpurnia, Scout realizes that being a girl actually involves having positive traits instead of lacking them.

I felt the starched walls of a pink cotton penitentiary closing in on me, and for the second time in my life I thought of running away. Immediately. (14.24)

Those dresses may look pretty, but Scout thinks they'd just hold her in. (Fine—but do you have to wear overalls?)

I walked home with Dill and returned in time to overhear Atticus saying to Aunty, " favor of Southern womanhood as much as anybody, but not for preserving polite fiction at the expense of human life," a pronouncement that made me suspect they had been fussing again. (15.39)

By calling Southern womanhood a "polite fiction," Atticus asserts that it's not real—it's just an idea that people at least pretend to believe in to make life run smoother. And what makes for a particularly Southern womanhood? How is being a woman in the south different from being a woman in the north? Are there any "fictions" about being a woman that we still believe?

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