Friday, August 2, 2019
To Kill a Mockingbird - Southern Traditions :: Free Essay Writer
To Kill a Mockingbird - Southern Traditions The South has always been known for its farming economy, confederate tendencies, family pride, and delicate females in ruffled dresses. In the book To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, the South's familiar traditions become ostensible as a theme throughout the plot. This novel takes place in Alabama in the 1930s and tells a story about a lawyer who defends a wrongly accused black man while trying to raise his two children, Scout and Jem, as they go through life's most active learning stage. Southern ways enhance the plot of the story and give a realistic and historic perspective to the book. This portrayal of Southern culture appears in various forms of racism, hatred, meek women, and family. The Southern women were told and obligated, by some code of southern conduct, to mature into fair-smelling, perfect "ladies." By "ladies" they meant women who were well mannered, good at embroidery, and wore frilly, lacy dresses. One example of this southern tradition occurs when Aunt Alexandra comes to the Finch residence to help Atticus raise his children during the trial. When first arriving she says to Scout, "We decided that it would be best for you to have some feminine influence. It won't be many years, Jean Louise, before you become interested in clothes and boys." This comment implies that the only subjects girls are expected to understand are boys and clothes. Aunt Alexandra makes no mention of Jean Louise's intelligence, education, or personality. Her diction suggests that the only thing Jean Louise is capable of pursuing is her attire and a man. Scout discovers what a "southern lady" is as she notices how Aunt Alexandra "chose protective garments that drew up her bosom to giddy heights, pinched in her waist, flared out her rear, and managed to suggest that Aunt Alexandra's was once an hour-glass figure." Scout was considered to be very improper, wearing overalls and pants, but Aunt Alexandra would still try and introduce her to other ladies. I assume that she did this to try and influence Scout. She hoped Scout would form lady-like habits by watching others. Another example takes place after the trial, when Jem is appalled at the decision the court makes in response to Tom Robinson's case.