In To Kill a Mockingbird, what behaviors are shown as being acceptable in the Maycomb community?

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literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird, many behaviors are seen as acceptable that would not be considered acceptable today.

First, the questioning of a white lawyer taking the case of a black defendant is acceptable in Maycomb. Therefore, the backlash which Atticus faces from the community at large is one behavior which is seen as acceptable.

Second, the fact that Aunt Alexandra demands that Scout acts likes a young lady and attends ladies' social events is seen as acceptable behavior. In Maycomb, the stereotypical role of the woman is very direct. Women (girls) are not supposed to dress and play like boys. Therefore, in Maycomb, women are only seen as acceptable if they adhere to the stereotypical behaviors deemed appropriate by the society at large.

Lastly, the town of Maycomb believes it to be appropriate to take the law into their own hands. Knowing that a mob is coming for Tom Robinson, Atticus stands guard at the jail door. The lynch mob demands that Atticus turn Tom over to them in order to allow them to enact revenge. Obviously, the town of Maycomb accepts vigilante action.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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