Describe how Mr. Dolphus Raymond fits into the community of Maycomb in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird. 

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lhc's profile pic

lhc | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Mr. Raymond is from a family of wealth and connections going back into the history of the community, so at first glance, one might think he would fit in very well with Maycomb's social elite.  However, Raymond also has children with an African-American woman, which is more than enough to qualify him as a social outcast to people like Aunt Alexandra.  He sits under a tree during the Robinson trial drinking out of a bag. . .but the bag doesn't contain alcohol, it contains soda.  His reasoning:

When I come to town. . . if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say Dolphus Raymond's in the clutches of whiskey – that's why he won't change his ways. He can't help himself.

In other words, Raymond understands that he doesn't fit into the rigid and unforgiving social categories of 1933 Alabama, and so he's turned the tables a bit and made it easier for the "folks" to reconcile their beliefs with what they're seeing in how he lives in life.  Although it's not clear why he feels compelled to do this, one might imagine that he's figuratively (and maybe literally) getting the "last laugh" as they say.

gmuss25's profile pic

gmuss25 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Dolphus Raymond is considered a social outcast in the community of Maycomb. Dolphus is a white man who openly associates with black people and has children of mixed race with a black woman. In the prejudiced society of Maycomb, Alabama, it is taboo for a white person to have a relationship with someone who is black. Despite the fact that Dolphus is a wealthy landowner, he is viewed with contempt throughout the community for his relations with black people and his "alcoholism." Later in the novel, Scout and Dill learn that Dolphus actually feigns alcoholism and drinks Coca-Cola from a paper bag to give the illusion that he is drunk. Dolphus tells Scout that it helps people latch onto a reason as to why he chooses to associate with black people. Dolphus realizes that he will never be accepted into Maycomb's society, but refuses to change who he is and tries to avoid controversy by feigning alcoholism. 


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