How did Dolphus Raymond influence Jem and Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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Dolphus Raymond is an enigmatic figure in the world of Maycomb. When he is first introduced, Scout believes him to be the town drunk, a good-natured but hopeless outcast who lives with the black community and is shunned by the white community. However, when Scout and Dill finally learn the...

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Dolphus Raymond is an enigmatic figure in the world of Maycomb. When he is first introduced, Scout believes him to be the town drunk, a good-natured but hopeless outcast who lives with the black community and is shunned by the white community. However, when Scout and Dill finally learn the truth, they find the real Dolphus Raymond to be quite different from the drunk they've come to expect. In reality, Raymond is in love with a black woman but, since such a situation would be unthinkable for the white community, he pretends to be an alcoholic in order to make it easier for others to justify his decisions. This realization proves to be very influential for Scout and Dill. By discovering the complicated reality behind Raymond's reputation, the two children learn that community opinion is not always correct, and that a change of perspective is often needed to fully understand an individual. Thus, Raymond proves Atticus' assertion that one needs to walk around in another's shoes and see the world from his or her perspective before one can fully understand another person. This theme is one of the most important ideas in the book, and Dolphus Raymond's feigned alcoholism is one of the most important examples of it.
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