In Chapter 20 of the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, what does the reader learn about Mr. Raymond? Do you agree with his decision to deceive people?

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Chapter 20, Scout and Dill learn that Dolphus Raymond is not an alcoholic and that he actually is drinking Coca-Cola underneath the paper bag. When Scout asks him why he pretends to be drunk, Dolphus tells her that he tries to give the citizens of Maycomb a reason as to why he chooses to live his life like he does. Dolphus explains how people could never understand why he chooses to associate with African Americans and finds it easier to disguise himself as being a drunk. Dolphus Raymond simply enjoys being around black people but realizes that it is considered a cultural taboo to associate with people of a different race. In 1930s Alabama, segregation is a significant part of society, and Jim Crows Laws prohibit African Americans from utilizing the same public facilities as white people. Instead of continually defending his views and arguing with people, Dolphus finds it easier to pretend that he is a drunk to avoid conflict. I agree with Dolphus Raymond's decision to pretend that he is an alcoholic to avoid conflict. Throughout the novel, certain citizens go to extreme lengths to harm individuals who support African Americans. Dolphus' well-being could be compromised if he was outspoken about his views towards black people and pretending to be an alcoholic could possibly prevent numerous altercations.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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