What are three examples of each--injustice, evil, and hypocrisy--in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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INJUSTICE

  • Boo Radley.  The rumors that fly around Maycomb about Boo Radley are mostly untrue, and the children decide that the reason Boo decides to stay inside his house is "because he wants to stay inside." (Chapter 23)
  • The Jury Verdict.  It is obvious from the testimony given and from Tom's crippled left arm that he could not have possibly committed the crimes for which he is charged. The jury, however, has made up its mind before the trial begins. As Atticus told his brother, Jack, long before the trial,

"The only thing we've got is a black man's word against the Ewells'. The evidence boils down to you-did--I-didn't. The jury couldn't possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson's word against the Ewells.  (Chapter 9)

  • Aunt Alexandra.  Scout is never allowed to bring Walter Cunningham Jr. over to play because of her aunt's doctrine that "he--is--trash, that's why."  (Chapter 23)

EVIL

  • Bob Ewell.  Bob is the single most evil character in the novel. His lies get Tom Robinson killed, and then he turns his evil intentions toward murdering Jem and Scout.
  • The Lynch Mob.  The group of men who confront Atticus in front of the jail come to kill Tom Robinson, but Scout's innocent conversation with Mr. Cunningham changes their minds.
  • Dolphus Raymond.  The children consider Dolphus "an evil man" because he lives with Negroes, has "mixed chillun," and weaves about Maycomb drinking from a bottle hidden by a paper sack. But Scout and Dill find out differently.

I had a feeling I shouldn't be here listening to this sinful man who had mixed children and didn't care who knew it, but he was fascinating.  (Chapter 20)

HYPOCRISY

  • The Missionary Circle.  The ladies of the Missionary Circle meet under the guise of charitable good intentions, but Scout soon finds that the ladies don't practice what they preach. Scout decides that she prefers the company of men because

... they weren't--
     "Hypocrites... born hypocrites."  (Chapter 24)

  • Miss Gates.  Scout decides that Miss Gates' opinions about Hitler and his treatment of the German Jews don't add up: She remembers overhearing a conversation between her teacher and Miss Stephanie in which Miss Gates denounces Maycomb's Negroes. 
  • Miss Caroline.  Scout's first grade teacher pretends to be concerned about the children, but her system of teaching and her own self-importance proves to be foremost in her thinking.
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