Term of Award
Master of Arts in English (M.A.)
Document Type and Release Option
Thesis (open access)
Department of Literature and Philosophy
Caren J. Town
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout Finch challenges gender stereotypes in her determination to remain a tomboy. Scout interacts with five parental characters (Atticus, Calpurnia, Aunt Alexandra, Miss Maudie, and Boo Radley), who offer models for Scout's behaviors. Though primarily unconventional in terms of gender, these parental figures fluctuate between ideals, demonstrating that gender is an unstable standard that alters according to each individual. Lee depicts characters who resist conforming to the paradigms of masculinity and femininity and instead fill middle positions between the stereotypes, as Scout's tomboyism exemplifies. After encountering different models, Scout consistently exhibits these genderbending inclinations. Scout's exploration of her identity as a tomboy functions as her coming-of-age journey.
Hakala, Laura, "Scouting for a Tomboy: Gender-Bending Behaviors in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird" (2010). Electronic Theses & Dissertations. 176.