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What new hypocrisies are revealed in this chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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slucia | Honors

Posted November 28, 2011 at 6:54 AM via web

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What new hypocrisies are revealed in this chapter of To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted November 28, 2011 at 8:49 AM (Answer #1)

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You don't mention the specific chapter but I'm guessing it's Chapter 24 (since your previous question also concerned Chapter 24).

Perhaps the most disturbing behavior that takes place during Aunt Alexandra's Missionary Tea meeting is the pretensiousness displayed by the supposed ladies present. While Scout is dressed in her Sunday best and on her best behavior as well, the other women present show a side of womanhood that is both haughty and ill-mannered. Miss Stephanie Crawford makes several jokes at Scout's expense, but Scout bites her tongue and keeps quiet, even after Miss Stephanie questions her sincerity about wanting to become a lady. Although the subject of the day is the Mruna tribe in Africa, the women's talk soon turns to gossip. Mrs. Merriweather, "the most devout lady in Maycomb," is sincere about her desire to help the Mrunas, but she soon turns to criticizing her "sulky" Negro maid, Sophy. She makes other disparaging remarks about Sophy; Tom Robinson's wife, Helen; Negroes in general; and even Atticus, which prompts a retort from Miss Maudie. Mrs. Farrow, "the second most devout lady in Maycomb," reveals that she doesn't feel safe in her bed at night with " 'em"--Negroes--running about. Mrs. Merriweather then turns her attention to the First Lady, Eleanor Roosevelt, who she believes has "just plain lost her mind" concerning her attempts to advance the civil rights of Negroes.

The very unladylike behavior by the supposed Christian women is not lost on Scout.

There was no doubt about it, I must soon enter this world, where on its surface fragrant ladies rocked slowly, fanned gently and drank cool water.
     But I was more at home in my father's world... Ladies seemed to live in faint horror of men... But I liked them... There was something about them I instinctively liked... they weren't--
     "Hypocrites..."

 

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