Miss Maudie Feminist Analysis

For Southern families, a proper woman was supposed to fulfill the responsibilities of a housewife; additionally, she must uphold the social code of being middle-class ladies but also being submissive towards their partner. To fit inside the social norms, many ladies wore simple print dresses belted above the hips and accessories - hats, pocketbooks, gloves, jewelry- to complement the outfit. Furthermore, the families, who could afford college, sent their daughters to refine her characteristics to prepare her for the responsibilities as a proper wife and mother. Not only were the women expected to act a certain way, but many ladies were also groomed to dress and adequately present themselves. For example, though they did have the right to vote, …show more content…
Nevertheless, these feminist and women, who abandon the social norm, were considered improper in society. For example, Miss Maudie wears men's overalls and traditional garb, yet society demands that women wear corsets and knee-length dresses. She follows her code and does not care about society’s opinion. Consequently, Scout looks at Miss Maudie as her role model because she finds Miss Maudie helps Scout make sense of being female and teaches her to express her opinion as Miss Maudie does. Specifically, when her neighbors criticize Miss Maudie’s garden, she hollers her disapproval of their criticism. Not to mention, her defiant nature resembles the mindset of one of the most influential and powerful female figures: Katherine Hepburn. Even though Miss Hepburn had to uphold specific beauty standards - small waist, soft hip, gentle curves- for her public image, she advocated for women in the film industry to enjoy both their career and family. This was because it was no longer appropriate for a woman to remain in the workforce or continue her education after marriage. If a woman pursued a job, she risked sacrificing the relative economic and social security of marriage. However, many women, like Miss Maudie, prefer to live alone and not get married. All in all, Miss Maudie challenged society’s standards of a proper …show more content…
Like all ladies, Aunt Alexandra was an excellent cook, often hosted many gatherings and participated in social clubs, including her Missionary Circle. At any event, most women wore “ simple print dress, belted just above the hips … [used] less makeup, preferring a more natural look,” like Scout’s Aunt (Feinstein 15). Even in the crippling heat of the Deep South, women wore corsets to form her body to that ideal hourglass shape forcefully and applied aggressive amounts of makeup to accentuate their features. Because their society believed that girls should be a tomboy, Alexandra was horrified at Scout’s improper, everyday overall and her wild ways. As a result, Scout continuously complains that her Aunt’s “vision of [Scout’s] deportment involved playing with small stoves, tea sets, and wearing the Add-A-Pearl necklace”(Lee 108). Her aunt’s vision is based on how women were portrayed as cooks and workers of the family and stayed home to tend the children and clean the house. Furthermore, when women were to attend church, she would have to wear her best Sunday dress; Scout describes Aunt Alexandra's Sunday dress as “protective garments that drew her bosom up to giddy heights, pinched at her waist”(Lee ). Additionally, women had an education in reading, writing, arithmetic, music art and the French language

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