What can you learn from the women of Maycomb about proper and improper behavior in To Kill a Mockingbird?To Kill a Mockingbird *Chapter 24* - Answer the following questions completely using details...

What can you learn from the women of Maycomb about proper and improper behavior in To Kill a Mockingbird?

To Kill a Mockingbird *Chapter 24* - Answer the following questions completely using details from the text.

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

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The meeting of the Missionary Circle in Chapter 24 reminds me of an old adage:

"You can dress them up, but you can't take them out." 

Several of the women present behave quite badly in their discussions about the Mrunas, "darkies," proper etiquette and the like. The highly religious ladies gather to discuss ways to help the heathen Mruna tribe in Africa--a worthy cause--but their goodheartedness apparently doesn't extend to the African-American citizens of Maycomb. Scout doesn't understand all of the conversation, but she understands when

  • Miss Stephanie makes fun of her
  • Mrs. Merriweather threatens to fire her servant, Sophy
  • Mrs. Farrow stutters about "no lady (feeling) safe in her bed" (with Maycomb Negroes running about)

White people who believed Tom Robinson was innocent were "hypocrites," according to Mrs. Merriweather. But the real hypocrites were the women who claimed to be caring of others in faraway lands but who had no sympathy for people in their own town. Miss Maudie called Mrs. Merriweather out for one of her insensitive remarks, and Aunt Alexandra gave Maudie "a look of pure gratitude" for doing so. Maudie and Alexandra decided to keep Atticus' news of Tom Robinson's death to themselves, probably because most of the other women present would have considered it a cause for celebration. Scout decides that she definitely prefers the company of men.

     Mr. Heck Tate did not try to trap you with innocent questions to make fun of you; even Jem wasn't highly critical unless you said something stupid. Ladies seemed to live in faint horror of men... but there was something about them I instinctively liked... they weren't--
     "Hypocrites!"

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