““…For one thing, Miss Maudie can’t serve on a jury because she’s a woman-”
“You mean women in Alabama can’t-?” I was indignant.
“I do. I guess it’s to protect our frail ladies from sordid cases like Tom’s. Besides,” Atticus grinned, “I doubt if we’d ever get a complete case tried- the ladies’d be interrupting to ask questions.””(To Kill a Mockingbird, 296) The patriarchal power system reinforces traditional gender roles. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee exposes the patriarchal power system of oppression by using characterization, symbolism, and dialogue. Harper Lee establishes feminism by revealing characters’ viewpoints. Miss Maudie is viewed as fragile and weak, because she is a woman. Atticus believes that women shouldn’t …show more content…
For instance, ““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” (69). Harper Lee illustrates what Jem’s stance towards gender roles is. Jem essentially classifies Scout as a coward, due to her lack of desire to participate in sneaking to the Radley’s house. By saying that Scout is getting more like a girl, Jem is signifying that females are cowards, whereas males are strong and dominant. Another example is, “I [Scout] 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…”(54). In this example Jem enlightens Scout about females being hated. Harper Lee utilizes Jem to illustrate his interpretation of how men are customarily better than men. Lee’s purpose of using dialogue is to assist the readers of To Kill a Mockingbird, to understand the patriarchal power system. Lee shows the traditional gender roles, such as females’ lack of dependence allowing them to be feeble and depend on male strength, and women being paranoid making exasperating to be