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Miss Maudie is completely fed up with Mrs. Merriweather's hypocrisy.
Mrs. Merriweather takes great pride in being considered "the most devout lady in Maycomb". At the missionary circle meeting she has just finished lamenting the plight of the Mrunas in Africa, yet, in the same breath, she speaks of the "darkies" who live her own community, and serve in her own house, with callousness and disparagement. She believes that Negroes, the "cooks and field hands", should know their place, and says that "there is nothing more distracting than a sulky darky". When Mrs. Merriweather makes a snide reference to Atticus' defense of Tom Robinson, self-righteously concluding that "all (he) did was stir 'em up", and complains about Sophie, her cook, declaring that the only reason she keeps her on is because "she needs her dollar and a quarter a week", Miss Maudie has had enough. She points out that the Merriweathers have no trouble eating the food Sophie prepares for them, sharply retorting that Mr. Merriweather's "food doesn't stick going down, does it?" (Chapter 24).
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