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In Chapter 24 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what is ironic about Scout's new changing...

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mumzel | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 29, 2013 at 1:25 PM via web

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In Chapter 24 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what is ironic about Scout's new changing role in the household?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 31, 2013 at 6:48 PM (Answer #1)

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Scout has been invited to attend the missionary circle tea party which Aunt Alexandra is hosting at Atticus's house. It is the first time Scout has had the opportunity, and it's not one she relishes. Nevertheless,

I was wearing my pink Sunday dress, shoes and a petticoat.  (Chapter 24)

Forever the tomboy who had refused all attempts to become ladylike, Scout was on her best behavior in front of the "devout" ladies of the circle. She wanted to impress Calpurnia and Miss Maudie and Aunt Alexandra, but she soon discovered that they were about the only ladies in the room. Scout witnessed practical jokes, racial slurs, verbal attacks on Atticus and repeated "hypocrisy." Scout was disappointed in these "fragrant ladies," but 

There was no doubt about it, I must soon enter this world...  (Chapter 24

Aunt Alexandra's attempt to make Scout a little lady was not completely unsuccessful. Scout admired the way Maudie and her aunt bounced back after hearing the news of Tom's death, and she decided that

... if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.  (Chapter 24)

But the more she saw of "ladies" and how many of them acted, she decided that

I was more at home in my father's world... Ladies seemed to live in faint horror of men... there was something about them I instinctively liked... they weren't--"Hypocrites..."  (Chapter 24)

It is ironic that Alexandra's invitation to the missionary circle tea and her attempt to make Scout more ladylike only make the tomboy Scout question their motives and strengthen her preference of men.

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