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What does the "business" part of the Missionary Society consist of in To Kill a...

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raeanneromance | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted December 14, 2009 at 9:46 AM via web

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What does the "business" part of the Missionary Society consist of in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted December 14, 2009 at 10:17 AM (Answer #1)

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Aunt Alexandra and her missionary circle met regularly to discuss international religious issues and to enjoy homemade refreshments. After a report from Mrs. Grace Merriweather about the "squalid life of the Mrunas" in Africa, Scout was invited to join the ladies for snacks, where she asked Calpurnia if she could help. The ladies dined on charlotte, dewberry tarts and hot coffee intermixed with local gossip and a bit of fun at Scout's expense. Then, it was back to talk about J. Grimes Everett and his missionary work.

Aunt Alexandra reminded Scout that

it was not necessary that I attend the business part of the meeting, she said it'd bore me.

The business part was the gossip and missionary talk and, later, the ladies' views on Maycomb's Negroes.

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mkcapen1 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 14, 2009 at 11:05 AM (Answer #2)

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In Chapter 24 of "To Kill a Mockingbird" the Missionary Circle meets at Aunt Alexandra's house where they are served by her colored servant Calpurnia.  The first order of business is directed by Mrs. Merriweather.  She reports about the lives of the Mrunas.  It is shocking to the women to find out that the women in the tribes had been put out of their huts.  The women feel that the tribe does not recognize any type of family structure within the tribe. 

The women's business is short as they quickly retreat to have refreshments and talk gossip.  There meetings appear to be social meetings rather than any of real business decisions.  In addition no resolution or aid was suggested to help the tribe that was discussed.

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