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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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Can you please provide suggestions on how I can improve my writing and correct any grammatical errors if noted? I don't know if I did this right, I am having difficulty expressing my thoughts about how 'being a lady' back in those times was something every female had to be - kind of like a job, you need it to be able to survive, otherwise you will be prejudged and looked down upon.  Jean Louside Finch (Scout) is teased for not fulfilling assumptions associated with being a girl. Scout is a tomboy at heart, does not want to behave like a typical “lady” and thus resists pressure from her Aunt Alexandra to dress and act like a lady. She wears overalls instead of dresses and she beats up other children who antagonise her. When Miss Maudie asks Scout if she wanted to be a lawyer when she grows up, scout replies, “Nome, Just a lady.” This show how much the stereotypical expectations of girls are entrenched into scout and all other kids her age. The way scout views those stereotypical values is as if ‘being a lady’ is a job that is required of every female in order to survive, and that “you won’t get very far until you start wearing dresses more often”. Scout suffers prejudice because she is not feminine.

Expert Answers

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Your insights into the novel and into Scout's personality are very inspiring and perceptive and your answer, in the main, is written very well. I will just take a couple of sentences to look at, to see if we can improve them. Firstly, in your line :

'Jean Louside Finch (Scout) is teased for not fulfilling assumptions associated with being a girl.' 

I might want to use either an alternative, or an additional, word - for example 'expectations.' The society around the young girl had little to go on but what they saw in front of them as communications were so basic back then and media was not universally available as it is today. So people grew up copying their role models (parents,teachers,townsfolk) and just copied what they did, expecting others to do the same. In this case their expectations have been unusually challenged by Scout who has not fulfilled them so far. Yes, they have 'assumed' she will be no different to any other young girl growing up to follow in her Mom's footsteps. She is different as she is being brought up by a single male parent, with a helper taking a secondary role.

I would also use the word 'instilled' instead of 'entrenched' as we are talking about eduction here which deals with the mind. It would be acceptable to say however, that certain views had 'become entrenched.'

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