Using specific characters and incidents, discuss the author's focus in To Kill a Mockingbird on the issue of hypocrisy.

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bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Probably the most obvious example of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird comes at the hands of the missionary circle in Chapter 24. Aunt Alexandra's tea party turned into a gossip fest in which several of the ladies showed their decidedly un-Godlike qualities. While all of the ladies sympathized deeply with the un-Christian Mruna tribe in Africa, several of them--particularly Mrs. Merriweather--lambasted their own Negro neighbors of Maycomb. It was clear that their Christian charity did not begin at home.

Another example comes in Chapter 26 when Scout becomes puzzled about Miss Gates' apparent contradictions about persecuted minorities. Miss Gates staunchly defended the German Jews who were being hounded by Adolph Hitler; however, Scout remembered overhearing a conversation by her teacher in which she spoke unkindly about Negroes mixing with the white population of Maycomb. Scout quite clearly understood the hypocrisy involved. 

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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