What are the themes in chapter 24 of To Kill a Mockingbird? What is the daily life issue that we can connect to the theme of chapter 24 of To Kill a Mockingbird?

The themes of chapter 24 of To Kill A Mockingbird are hypocrisy and self-blindness. The ladies of the Missionary Society want to help Africans but are blind to the way they exploit African Americans in their own community. In today's world, we also often say we want to help the poor while supporting politics that hurt the less fortunate. It is easier to help those far away than those in our own back yards.

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The prevalent theme and the daily life issue reflected in this chapter are one and the same: racism.

Aunt Alexandra has invited members of her missionary circle over for tea, and these ladies, who claim to care about the fate of the Mruna tribe in Africa, couldn't care less about the African Americans living troubled lives right there in Maycomb. One of the more objectionable members of the party, Mrs. Merriweather, goes as far as to make a subtle claim that Atticus has been overly sympathetic to the plight of any African American in his defense of Tom.

Mrs. Merriweather also implies that Atticus is responsible for Maycomb’s African American community getting ideas which are, according to her, above their station. At the same time, she tries to make herself appear to be a good person by talking about the fact she keeps her maid, Sophy, in employment. Sophy is expected to show unending gratitude for this, despite her abysmal wages and the fact that her people are being treated unfairly throughout Maycomb.

Hand in hand with the theme of racism comes hypocrisy. While the members of the missionary circle are criticizing Atticus to varying levels, they seem to forget that they are guests in his home and that Atticus’s daughter, Scout, is present and listening to the entire conversation.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on May 27, 2020
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In chapter 24 of To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout listens to the white ladies of the Missionary Society, especially Mrs. Merriweather, talk about wanting to help blacks in Africa while at the same time coming down hard on African Americans in their own community.

Mrs. Merriweather talks about having to scold her maid, Sophy, for being surly after the Tom Robinson verdict. Mrs. Merriweather is hypocritical in pretending that she hires Sophyat stunningly low wages even for the Depressionout of the goodness of her heart because times are so rough. In reality, it is clear that Mrs. Merriweather benefits from a Black community that she can exploit. She is also cruel in expecting Sophy to be cheerful and grateful in a situation where it is obvious blacks are treated unjustly by whites.

Mrs. Merriweather also makes comments implying that Atticus is to blame for the African American community getting "uppity." If he hadn't defended Tom Robinson in a way that made it clear he wasn't guilty, African Americans wouldn't have reasons to be upset, as they now are, about the guilty verdict. These comments make Miss Maudie angry, and she comments that Mrs Merriweather has no trouble eating Atticus's food while at the same time criticizing him.

There are many similar examples of hypocrisy in our world. People will get behind, for example, the idea of better education for children, but when it is a matter of building a new school in their own neighborhood to relieve overcrowding, they will say "not in my backyard," and campaign against it.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on May 27, 2020
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In chapter 24, Scout attends her Aunt Alexandra's missionary circle, where the local ladies come to socialize and discuss current events over cool refreshments and crisp cookies. While the missionary circle's primary purpose is to discuss J. Grimes Everett's work in Africa, the conversation quickly shifts to the atmosphere of the community in the wake of the Tom Robinson trial. The apparently Christian ladies like Mrs. Merriweather indirectly criticize Atticus for defending Tom and complain about their black servants' negative attitudes concerning the verdict. Instead of being morally upright proponents of Jesus's teachings and philosophy, the Christian women are portrayed as hypocrites.

Hypocrisy is one of the prominent themes examined throughout chapter 24 as Scout recognizes the prejudiced, racist nature of Alexandra's guests. The woman gossip and display their ignorance throughout the social event, which is counterintuitive to the purpose of a missionary circle. Each day people interact with hypocrites or display hypocritical behaviors themselves. The duality of human nature is present in each individual, which makes hypocrisy such a significant aspect of one's daily life. Harper Lee brilliantly illustrates the nature of hypocrisy in the South by portraying the racist, prejudiced beliefs that self-proclaimed Christian women subscribe to regarding race, class, and ethnicity.

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Chapter 24 is the chapter where Scout attends one of Aunt Alexandra's missionary teas.  There are a few theme subjects addressed in this chapter, including Scout learning lessons in growing up as a lady, Miss Maudie having the courage to stand up for what she believes in, and of course, the following:

The main theme that is reinforced here is the idea of hypocrisy as presented by the people of Maycomb.  Here is a group of white women, all church going Christians, meeting with the purpose of discussing (and ultimately supporting) Christian mission work overseas.

While they are able to talk about "living a Christian life" and taking care of those people in the "jungle over there" and supporting mission work and spreading the love of Jesus Christ - in the same breath they can belittle the African Americans living in their own town.

And through this two-faced-ness, they even have the audacity to identify hypocrisy in others.

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