To Kill a Mockingbird Questions and Answers
by Harper Lee

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How are Mrs. Merriweather, Miss Gates, and Dolphus Raymond all hypocrites?

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Mrs. Merriweather is a hypocrite when she exalts her own actions of supporting missionary work for the Mrunas. She tells of how poor and destitute they are and how only one man will help them. This makes her a hypocrite because she fails to see the destitution and poverty that exists in her very town. She is more than willing to help those in need who live in a third world country, but she would never think of helping out Helen Robinson and her family in their time of need. Miss Gates is seen as a hypocrite after her remarks on the night of Tom’s verdict. Scout recalls hearing Miss Gates make a remark about it being good that someone ‘put them in their place,’ that next thing you know, they’d be thinking blacks could marry whites. Scout is rather confused by this because she recalls how Miss Gates admonished Hitler’s persecution of the Jews, which she declared baseless because Jews were productive in society and a religious people. Miss Gates fails to see that Tom Robinson is also a productive member of society and does not deserve the persecution he receives. Dolphus Raymond is also shown to be a hypocrite through the way he lives his life. He pretends to be a drunk so that everyone else in Maycomb can explain away why he chooses to live with a black woman. He fails to see that he is perpetuating stereotypes by acting like a drunk –as if only a drunk man would choose to live with a woman of a difference race. Were he to stand up to society and be truthful in his actions, he would not be a hypocrite. 

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