How is Mr Dolphus Raymond characterized in "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Mr Raymond enjoys the prestige of being a wealthy man,  but his name is swarthed in scandal because of his preference for Negroes, including his taste in women. This has especially been the case since an incident a few years earlier when his fiancée, a white woman, discovered Dolphus was "keeping" a black mistress, and committed suicide.

Mr Raymond wants to "steer cleer" of the while community and tries to live up to his doubtful reputation by feigning alcoholism, when actually it's just cola that he carries around in a bagged bottle. The Finch children discover this when Dophus Raymond offers Dill a swig to help settle his stomach.  Mr  Raymond reveals to the children his ruse and why he does it, adding that in a few years they will probaby be thinking just like everybody else.

In this Dolphus Raymond  shows himself to be a compassionate man and rather "enlightened" for his times, in spite of his doubtful reputation and marginal lifestyle he lives. The fact that he does not go along with everybody else but choose rather to find his own way makes the reader ask serious questions about 'majority rule' and who's finally "right" in a society blighted by prejudice.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial