Homework Help

What are some examples of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird?

user profile pic

matttv | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 4, 2007 at 10:46 PM via web

dislike 2 like

What are some examples of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

teacherscribe | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted November 5, 2007 at 12:17 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 0 like

The most obvious one is that an innocent man, Tom Robinson, is convicted of beating and raping Mayella Ewell when it is blatantly obvious that he did no such thing. Another example is Scout's third grade teacher, Mrs. Gates, who tells her class about all the evil things Hitler is doing to the Jews in Germany; however, Scout observes how she overheard Mrs. Gates talking about how happy she was Tom was convicted and that the black folks in the community needed to be kept in their place. Another example is when Scout is sitting down with Aunt Alexandra and her circle of friends. Mrs. Merriweather refers to the northerners as "hypocrites" for setting their blacks free but refusing to congregate with them or treat them as equals. She states that down south they have a reasonable way of life - the whites are free to go about their way of life and the blacks are free to go about their way of life. But what Mrs. Merriweather isn't able to see is that the blacks down south cannot go about their own way of life because of all of the Jim Crow laws and discrimination practiced there. A final example is seen in how Aunt Alexandra believes the Finch's family is above most others in Maycomb. Yet, that is not true, for Atticus explains to Scout that their family history is as tainted by racism and insanity and inbreeding as any other family in Maycomb.

user profile pic

korolar | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 7, 2010 at 7:40 AM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

1. At the missionary circle, Mrs. Merriweather talked about how no white person would go near the black Mrunas, however the white and blacks of Maycomb are completely seperate

2. In the historical account about Simon Finch in chap. 1, Simon Finch is persecuted because he is a methodist. However, then he goes and purchases slaves. Simon also buys slaves in order to get rid of his money in order to not spend his money of gold because it is against God. however, purchasing slaves is no more for the glory of God than purchasing gold.

3. MRs. Gate's class- she teaches about the horrors of Hitler and how america would never persecute others, “Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced” (245)

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes