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In her lesson on hitler, Miss Gates says, "We (American people) dont believe in...

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eiwooiwj | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 15, 2009 at 2:29 AM via web

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In her lesson on hitler, Miss Gates says, "We (American people) dont believe in persecuting anyone''.

What seems odd to the reader about this claim?

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cldbentley | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted January 15, 2009 at 3:04 AM (Answer #1)

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It is odd that Miss Gates made such a statement because the trial and conviction have made evident the existence and power of persecution in the United States and, specifically, in Maycomb. It is also odd that Miss Gates declared that Americans don't believe in persecution, because she revealed herself (although she didn't realize it) as a hypocrite; during a conversation with Jem, Scout states that, while standing on the courthouse steps following Tom Robinson's trial, she overheard Miss Gates tell Miss Stephanie Crawford that "it's time somebody taught 'em a lesson, they were gettin' way above themselves, an' the next thing they think they can do is marry us" (pg. 249 in my copy). This sentiment makes clear Miss Gates's own prejudice toward African-Americans. By claiming that Americans "don't believe in persecuting anyone," Miss Gates was not only lying, but also revealing her hypocrisy and misunderstanding of the truth.

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barbuthuta | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 29, 2012 at 9:35 PM (Answer #2)

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americans do not believe in persecution

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