During Scout's first time attending her aunt's missionary circle, she becomes aware of the overt prejudice and hypocrisy of Maycomb's citizens and also notices how the attendees subtly communicate with one another without speaking. Mrs. Merriweather is known throughout the community of Maycomb as a morally upright Christian, who openly supports missionary work outside of the United States. However, Mrs. Merriweather displays her ignorance and intolerance by criticizing the culture of the Mrunas tribe in Africa. Scout also learns that Mrs. Merriweather and the other women attending the missionary circle are racist hypocrites as they indirectly criticize Atticus for defending Tom Robinson and ridicule the black community for their reactions to the verdict. Mrs. Merriweather refers to Tom's wife as a "darky" and refuses to sympathize with her black maid's feelings.
The women visiting Atticus's house, who are supposed to be discussing Christian missionary work, spend the majority of their time gossiping and ridiculing the people in their community pursuing racial equality. Whenever Miss Maudie defends Atticus after Mrs. Merriweather indirectly criticizes him, Scout notices how Aunt Alexandra subtly thanks Maudie by briefly making eye contact with her. Scout is fascinated by Maudie and Alexandra's nonverbal communication and learns that females have their own distinct way of communicating. Overall, Scout learns that many of her "Christian" neighbors are racist hypocrites, who are culturally ignorant and enjoy gossiping with each other under the guise of discussing missionary work.