In To Kill a Mockingbird, who is Mrs. Merriweather speaking about when she says, "there are some good but misguided people in this town"?

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amarang9 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Merriweather is actually referring to any citizens (particularly white) who help African-American citizens. She is specifically referring to the trial. According to her way of thinking, anyone who raises the hopes of African-Americans by supposing that they should get fair trials and be treated as equals with the whites is doing nothing but "stirring them up." By this she means, they are just antagonizing the black citizens by offering them false hope. Mrs. Merriweather adds: 

Now far be it from me to say who, but some of ‘em in this town thought they were doing the right thing a while back, but all they did was stir ’em up. 

This being said, Mrs. Merriweather is also referring to Atticus as one of those "good but misguided people" since he is the one who represented Tom Robinson and was Tom's best chance at the trial. Mrs. Merriweather is strikingly hypocritical. She claims to support better lives for the Mrunas but she doesn't support equality for the black citizens of Maycomb. 

gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Mrs. Merriweather is indirectly speaking about Atticus Finch when she comments "I tell you there are some good but misguided people in this town" (Lee 142). She does not openly criticize Atticus's actions because that would seem rude, but her comment subtly expresses her displeasure with his decision. Mrs. Merriweather is prejudiced against African Americans, as wel as the white people who believe black people deserve equal treatment. Mrs. Merriweather does not agree with Atticus's decision to defend Tom Robinson and believes he is simply stirring up trouble throughout the community. After indirectly commenting about Atticus, she continues to lament about how her maids are sulking around the house because of Tom Robinson's verdict. Miss Maudie defends Atticus by asking Mrs. Merriweather whether his food sticks to her throat when she swallows it. Scout is in awe of the way Aunt Alexandra subtly acknowledges and appreciates Maudie's verbal jab.

ceceeenien | Student

She is referring to white people helping black people, which is toward atticus

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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