What are some examples of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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readerofbooks eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There are many examples of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird.  Let me give you two of the most conspicuous. 

First, we see religious hypocrisy among the women in the Missionary Society. Mrs. Merriweather is the biggest hypocrite.  She acts very piously and she wears it on her sleeve for all to see.  For example, she cares about the Mrunas in Africa, but she does not care about the blacks in her community. Here is a quote:

Mrs. Merriweather’s large brown eyes always filled with tears when she considered the oppressed. “Living in that jungle with nobody but J. Grimes Everett,” she said. “Not a white person’ll go near ‘em but that saintly J. Grimes Everett.”

Second, we see hypocrisy in Miss Gates. She wonders how Hitler can persecute Jews. She sees his actions as evil, but she cannot see prejudice in her own town.  In fact, she believes that she and her community are far better.  Quickly she has forgotten the trial and death of Tom Robinson. 

Then Miss Gates said, “That’s the difference between America and Germany. We are a democracy and Germany is a dictatorship. Dictator-ship,” she said. “Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced. 



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To Kill a Mockingbird

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