To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Explain the irony of the missionary circle and the "squalid lives of the Mrunas" in chapter 24.

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Irony is when the opposite of an intended action happens. The supposed purpose of Aunt Alexandra's missionary teas is to discuss how they can help people and/or convert them to their religion—the Maycomb Alabama Methodist Episcopal Church South. During the refreshments time, Scout asks the women what they discussed and Mrs. Merriweather is not afraid to declare that pastor J. Grimes Everett has been working with a tribe called the Mrunas who have camped out in a jungle area. She brags that he goes down to help or proselytize to the Mrunas, but no "white person'll go near 'em but that saintly J. Grimes Everett" (230). The irony is that she praises this man for helping these people, but she won't go herself. Not only that, but there are people in her own community who might need help and she will only discuss and berate them rather than go out and actually help them. If...

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