In "To Kill a Mockingbird", how does Mr. Raymond explain his pretense about drinking?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Mr. Raymond who supposedly has liquor in his Coca-Cola bottle, really has just Coke.  But he allows this rumor to be perpetuated because it gives the people a reason they can accept for his breaking the taboo of a white man living with an African-American woman: 

Wh--on yes, you mean why do I pretend?  Well, it's very simple...Some folks don't--like the way I live..It helps folks if they can latch onto a reason...When I come to town..if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can say...[I'm]in the clutches of whiskey...He can't help himself, that's why he lives the way he does.

Mr. Raymond explains to the children that the townspeople cannot understand the real reason why he lives as he does:  he wants to do this.  Since doing so is socially unacceptable in the time of the setting in Alabama, he gives the people a reason they are willing to accept; therefore, he then has less conflict with them.

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