To Kill a Mockingbird: Presentation of Men

Quotes and thoughts to deal with this theme –

The patriarchal society: the family tree and Finch Landing frames the masculinity in the novel. The plantations were described as “Empires” p. 4


Atticus – Masculinity and courage

Unconventional father figure

Seen as old and weak by Jem and Scout and then strong – best shot in town.

“Atticus was feeble” p. 98

“Atticus wouldn’t teach us to shoot…Atticus wasn’t interested in guns”

“Atticus can’t do anything…” p. 100

“We reflected upon his abilities and manliness. He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries.” p. 98

“Atticus’ a gentleman just like me.” p. 109 Chapter with the Mad Dog begins with Jem criticizing his father’s identity and ends with him celebrating it.


Atticus’ character foil – Bob Ewell

“Southern gentleman” compared to the “Little red rooster”

Context: Gone with the Wind and popular representations of gender roles.

Bob Ewell’s abuse of Mayella: “what my papa does to me don’t count”


Tom and his physical strength:

Phobia of black men

“his muscles rippled underneath his shirt”

“If he had been whole, he would have been a fine specimen of a man” p. 212

“Tom was a black-velvet Negro,  not shiny, but soft black velvet” p. 212

“His skin started to glisten”

The physicality of the black community as labourers. Sensuous and positive.

“Quit ruttin’ on my Mayella” Bob Ewell’s animalistic descriptions of Tom



  • Atticus as different type of masculinity
  • “White men gambled” segregation of male and female past times as well as racial
  • Scout as Masculine

Prefers dungarees “Scout where are your britches? Under my dress”

“I wouldn’t fight publicly for Atticus” after he asked her not to.

Enjoys the smell of fatherly figures in her life.


Jem’s and Dill’s development:

“Dill’s maleness was beginning to assert himself”  p. 222

“Jem was twelve. He was difficult to live with, inconsistent, moody” p. 127

“Overnight, it seemed Jem had acquired an alien set of values and was trying to impose them on me: several times he went so far as to tell me what to do.” p. 127

In addition to Jem’s newly developed characteristics, he had acquired a maddening air of wisdom” p. 128

“I just can’t help it is Mister Jem’s growing up, he’s going wanna be off himself a lot now” p. 127


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