Scout inside a tire, playing with Jem and Dill during summer.
“I was not sure, but Jem told me I was being a girl, that girls imagined things, that’s why other people hated them so if I started behaving like one, I could just go off and find some to play with.” This was said by Jem Finch to his little sister, Scout Finch on page 54, we can see how Scout, main character of Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird struggles to fit in Jem’s expectations.
Scout did not have a female role to follow except for their maid, Calpurnia since when she was young, her mother died. Scout lived with her brother Jem, her dad Atticus, and Calpurnia, so she spends most of the time playing with Jem. During summer, Jem’s best friend, Dill, will come over to play with Scout and Jem. Scout was always playing around boys, which influences her tomboyish personality, which brakes the gender expectation during the 1930’s.
Women were expected to stay at home to look after their children, cook, do laundry, and clean the house. Women and young girls were also expected to wear dresses, were not allowed to be barefoot since it was a symbol of shabbiness, never use or hear curse words, and they were not allowed to get into fights. If they had any problem, they were expected to solve it through speaking to each other. Girls were expected to play with dolls, and attend to parties to drink tea while playing with dolls.
Unlike the typical Southern girl in the 1930’s, Scout played into rough games with the boys, got into fights in school, used an inappropriate language, liked playing with guns, and wore jean overalls. Scout’s tomboyish personality, challenging the gender expectations of the time period while living in a small town, as she reaches adolescence, could potentially bring her problems related with fitting in with the rest of the community.