Harper Lee has a particular concept of masculinity, of what is good in a man. What is it and how does she portray it in To Kill a Mockingbird?
One of my favorite passages from To Kill a Mockingbird comes during the Missionary Circle meeting in Chapter 24. Scout has become disgusted with the talk and actions of the supposed Christian "ladies," who spend most of the time gossiping and criticizing the Negroes of Maycomb. Mrs. Merriweather even takes a potshot at Atticus, blaming him for "stirring up" the local black men and women by his defense of Tom Robinson. Scout realizes that she will soon enter the world of women: She is not ready to make this transition, and she wonders if she, too, will become like Miss Stephanie and Mrs. Merriweather. Scout decides that she is
... more at home in my father's world. People like Mr. Heck Tate did not try to trap you with innnocent questions to make fun of you; even Jem was not highly critical unless you said something stupid. 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, no matter how much they cussed and drank and gambled and chewed; no matter how undelectable they were, there was something about them I instinctively liked... they weren't--
"Hypocrites..." (Chapter 24)