I need another example of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird. Here are the ones I've used so far: Lula at the church, Simon Finch's history, when the children learn that Atticus knows stuff about...

I need another example of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird

Here are the ones I've used so far: Lula at the church, Simon Finch's history, when the children learn that Atticus knows stuff about the Radleys, Miss Gates and Hitler, Aunt Alexandra's lunch, and Miss Caroline/Walter.

Asked on by jennab123

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e-martin | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

A clear example of hypocrisy can be found in the episode where Aunt Alexandra hosts the women of the missionary circle at the Finch house. Here, Mrs. Merriweather and other women express their appreciation and admiration for a missionary who is working to shape the social practices of a tribe in Africa. 

The hypocrisy of the episode takes place on at least two levels. 

First, the women of the missionary circle ooze with praise for a person they perceive to be doing social work to help those in need in Africa (these happen to be people of "color"). Meanwhile they deride the attitudes and ethics of people in need in their own community. 

They are concerned with the Mrunas when there are groups in need in Maycomb.

This is one piece of hypocrisy from the women and a second piece comes in their praise for the specific "progressive efforts" the missionary is undertaking in Africa.

The man they praise is attempting to stop a village from functioning as one big family where all the children are raised by the entire village.

This is not a "real family" concept according to the missionary and according to the women in the missionary circle. They champion the missionary's efforts to reduce the concept of family down to biological parentage, effectively shrinking the community into isolated units. 

The women in the missionary circle, Mrs. Merriweather in particular, express admiration for this effort, understanding themselves to be morally superior to a people of generous relations while they castigate and deride the people who live around them, even in their own homes.

Judging the tribe negatively for its generosity and expansive family concept runs contrary to the values the missionary circle claims for itself. This is definitively hypocritical.

In speaking about her own servant, Mrs. Merriweather conveys no comprehension of the emotional realities of her servant, Sophy, and suggests advice to Sophy about changing her attitude. Mrs. Merriweather's attitude, however, is itself highly selfish and short-sighted.

The ladies of the missionary circle prove how hypocritical and dangerous social rules can be. Mrs. Merriweather clearly puts her maid Sophy in a different category from her family.

The women in this missionary circle espouse moral feeling while displaying next to none. This, clearly, is intended to be an example of hypocrisy at work in Maycomb. 

Sources:
aryss63's profile pic

aryss63 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

when the blacks have to sit in the balcony away from the whites. There is a negro neighboor hood and a white neighboor hood and aunt alexandra doesnt want scout to go there. The trial when mr.gilmer calls tom a boy.

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