Compare and contrast the male and female characters in To Kill a Mockingbird. How would you describe the relationships between male and female characters so far?
This is for chapter 11, but anything around there will work.
Author Harper Lee is tough on the women in her novel. Only Miss Maudie and Calpurnia come off as wise, independent women with a solid head on their shoulders. The rest of the female characters (aside from Scout) are either quirky or downright hypocritical.
- Miss Stephanie is the town gossip who repeats anything and everything, whether there is any truth to it or not. She has little respect for Scout, making fun of her before others at the Missionary Circle tea.
- Dill's Aunt Rachel is a closet alcoholic.
- Miss Caroline Fisher, Scout's first grade teacher, is well-educated, but she proves that a good education does not make up for a lack of concern or understanding of others.
- Miss Gates, Scout's third grade teacher, reveals herself to be a hypocrite by her conflicting comments about Jews and Maycomb's Negroes.
- Mrs. Dubose is a hateful racist who only betters herself at the very end of her life.
- Mrs. Merriweather is supposedly "the most devout lady in Maycomb," but she displays hypocritical tendencies as well--claiming to feel sympathy for the Mruna tribe in Africa but none for Maycomb's own Negro population. She apparently henpecks her husband, has sobered him up, and he
... apparently saw nothing personal in singing "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me..."
- Mrs. Farrow is the "second most devout lady in Maycomb," and she appears to be a "sibilant sound"-ing clone of Mrs. Merriweather.
- Misses Tutti and Frutti are a comic pair of sisters, outsiders who have the only basement in Maycomb.
- Aunt Alexandra is caught up in her family heritage and "gentle breeding" and has little sympathy for others who don't fit her definition of "Fine Folks." She and her husband, Jimmy, barely speak, and Alexandra has no qualms about leaving him behind at Finch's Landing when she moves in with Atticus.
Scout greatly prefers the company of men. "I wondered at the world of women."
But I was more at home in my father's world... Ladies seemed to live in faint horror of men, seemed unwilling to approve wholeheartedly of them. But I liked them. There was something about them... that I instinctively liked... they weren't--
"Hypocrites... born hypocrites...