How Does Miss Maudie Use Stereotypes In To Kill A Mockingbird

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“Being a girl makes you weak.” “Boys don’t cry.” “All Asians are geniuses.” “He dresses like a gay man.” These statements reveal the startling amount of stereotypes present in today’s society. We have been conditioned to believe these declarations and judge people according to them. However, this leads to unethical actions, as To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee demonstrates. The novel follows the life of six-year-old Scout Finch in Maycomb, Alabama, during the Great Depression. Scout and her brother, Jem, befriend Dill Harris, who comes to Maycomb every summer, and the trio often wonder about a reclusive neighbor, Boo Radley. Atticus Finch, Scout’s father, is a lawyer who is appointed to a case for Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping …show more content…
Although many people change how they act to become less biased, they may still judge others. In the novel, Miss Maudie easily stereotypes Mr. Radley as a “foot-washing Baptist” who “believe[s] anything that’s pleasure is a sin” (Lee 44) even when she has rarely talked to him. The nonchalant yet slightly disdainful tone of her voice shows how Miss Maudie has labeled Mr. Radley even though she does not know him personally. Miss Maudie is typically one who emphasizes change in the treatment of others, yet she still will occasionally use stereotypes. Through the unconcerned tone of the conversation, one can understand the larger notion that even those who are pressuring for a better change in society will inadvertantly use stereotypes. Mr. Raymond, a character who is often criticized for his unconventional behavior, explains that he is only faking, “‘to give ‘em a reason… if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey” (Lee 200). Mr Raymond’s casual tone demonstrates how he doesn’t care about the stereotypes that people have assumed of him. People automatically accept his drunk pretense to try and explain for his differences. However, even though many others in the community want to change society for the better, some, like Mr. Raymond, do not bother to fix these false images, …show more content…
Being prejudiced causes people to jump to untrue conclusions, dividing our relationships with each other. Not all people believe that change is necessary, but without it, stereotypes will be used even farther. These labels will grow more prejudice, causing people to judge each other without asking for the truth. This prejudice leads to much imbalance in the today’s society, one large example being in the workplace. One of the major movements today, #TimesUp has begun pressuring for change as many allegations of workplace assault and harrassment have sprung up. Many times, inexperienced women and men are taken advantage of, because they are stereotyped as weaker or unafraid to speak up. These stereotypes and many more will eventually cause greater conflicts in humanity unless people learns to change their biased habits. As society is beginning to learn, girls can be strong. Boys can cry. You don’t have to be brilliant to be Asian. You can dress how you want, no matter your sexuality. By breaking these stereotypes and prejudices, we can make a better

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