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To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird


by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird Women and Femininity Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (chapter.paragraph)

Quote #1

I was not so sure, but Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls always imagined things, that's why other people hated them so, and if I started behaving like one I could just go off and find some to play with. (4.119)

Coming down firmly on the "nurture" side of the gender debate, Scout believes from an early age that girl things are bad (and probably have cooties) and boy things are good, and that she can avoid the badness of girls by not acting one. Being a girl for Scout is less a matter of what she's born with and more a matter of what she does.

Quote #2

"Scout, I'm tellin' you for the last time, shut your trap or go home—I declare to the Lord you're gettin' more like a girl every day!" With that, I had no option but to join them. (6.24)

Boys rule, girls drool, and Scout will do anything to keep from being called a girl. But what's the problem here? That she's raising some pretty logical objections to Jem's reckless behavior?

Quote #3

"Don't pay any attention to her, just hold your head high and be a gentleman." (11.23)

Being a gentleman seems to signify honor in a way being a lady doesn't, at least for Jem. How do ladies show their honor? Is it something they do—or something they don't do?

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