In Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, what does Scout learn from the missionary circle tea party?

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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. 

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One day, Aunt Alexandra hosted a missionary circle social at the Finch house.  Mrs. Grace Merriweather reported on the conditions of a group of people living in Africa.  She described their lives as being very uncivilized.  A missionary was there seeking to convert them.  Mrs. Merriweather placed the missionary on a pedestal as a saint.

Aunt Alexandra requested that Scout dress up in her best clothes and join the ladies.  Scout tried to be polite and engaged the ladies in conversation.  After a while, Atticus called Aunt Alexandra into the kitchen and Scout followed.  He revealed terrible news:  Tom Robinson had been shot trying to escape.  He had been killed.  At first, Scout observed her aunt's reaction, which was one of shock and sadness.  Then Scout "found [herself] shaking and couldn’t stop."  After a time, Aunt Alexandra suggested that they compose themselves and rejoin the ladies who were visiting for the social.  Scout went out into the living room with her aunt.  She was beginning to learn how to be a lady.  She reasoned:

"After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I."

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