Explain the irony in the tea scene, Chapter 24 of To Kill a MockingbirdIn Chap 24, the missionary tea scene has irony at work.  Explain 2 items that could be considered situational irony & 1...

Explain the irony in the tea scene, Chapter 24 of To Kill a Mockingbird

In Chap 24, the missionary tea scene has irony at work.  Explain 2 items that could be considered situational irony & 1 that is dramatic irony.

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The Sunday tea that Aunt Alexandra gives in Chapter 24 of To Kill a Mockingbird exposes the hypocrisy of Alexandra and Mrs. Merriweather, as well.

DRAMATIC IRONY

  • In one case of dramatic irony, in which the reader perceives something that a character in the narrative does not know is Aunt Alexandra's not permitting Calpurnia to make the tea cakes when it is all right for her to cook daily for the Finch family.  For, she does not realize how illogical this act is, not to mention hypocritical. 
  • Of course, Mrs. Merriweather is a character who is completely unrealistic about herself.  She tells another of the ladies,

"I tell you, Gertrude, you never ought to let an opportunity go by to witness for the Lord."

However, she is very unChristian in her remarks about "the darkies" who have grumbled and been disastified about Tom Robinson's arrest.

SITUATIONAL IRONY

  • When Mrs. Merriweather continues her derogatory remarks, referring to Atticus as "misguided" and Miss Maudie arrests her in hypocrisy with sharp retorts that point to her hypocrisy, Aunt Alexandra "gave Miss Maudie a look of pure gratitude."  Scout wonders "at the world of women" in this instance of situational irony in which there is a discrepancy between the expected result of Miss Merriweather's words and actions and the actual result.
  • After Atticus returns home, pale with the sickening news of Tom's death, Miss Maudie comforts Aunt Alexandra who, having seen her brother's condition, becomes angered with the stress that the town puts upon Atticus.  Miss Maudie tells Alexandra in another example of situational irony,

"Whether Maycomb knows it or not, we're paying the highest tribute we can pay a man.  We trust him to do right."

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