In the book, To Kill a Mockingbird, what contradictions did Scout experience when Miss Gates explained the difference between America and Germany?

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

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In Chapter 26 of the Harper Lee novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Scout discovers that her teacher, Miss Gates, still has a lot to learn when it comes to racism and hypocrisy. During a lesson on present day Germany, Miss Gates declares that

"There are no better group of people in the world than the Jews, and why Hitler doesn't think so is a mystery to me."

She goes on to say that the Jews have been persecuted for centuries, and that "persecution comes from people that are prejudiced."

But Scout has not forgotten a conversation that she overheard between Miss Gates and Miss Stephanie Crawford after the Tom Robinson trial.

I heard her say 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.

Scout sees the hypocrisy that Miss Gates' exhibits by hating Hitler for his persecution of the Jews while she persecutes the Negroes living in her own hometown because they want to live as other Maycomb citizens do.

 

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