To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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In Chapter 20 of To Kill a Mockingbird, what do Dill and Scout learn from Mr. Dolphus Raymond?

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David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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It says everything about the level of racial prejudice in Maycomb that a white man has to pretend to be a hopeless alcoholic to be able to socialize with African-Americans. Yet that's precisely what Dolphus Raymond's forced to do. The very idea of a white Southerner choosing to spend his free time in the company of those deemed racially inferior would've been almost unthinkable at the time. But as everyone thinks that Dolphus is a drunk, they give him a pass for his eccentricities.

Dolphus's behavior is also indulged because he comes from an old, respectable family, the kind of "good" family that would meet with Aunt Alexandra's snobbish approval. This shows us that there's a distinct social, as well as racial, pecking order in town, which also prevents the forging of meaningful human relationships on anything like normal terms.

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In chapter 20, Scout and Dill leave the courthouse so that Dill can regain his composure, and the children...

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keudia | Student

that he is not really a drunk as the townspeople believe

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