In To Kill a Mockingbird, what ideas are represented by Miss Caroline Fisher, Miss Blount, Miss Gates, Mrs. Merriweather, and Dolphus Raymond?

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Susan Hurn eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Miss Caroline Fisher, Scout's new and inexperienced young teacher, represents change in the education system and new teaching methods. She also represents the idea of the outsider who comes into Maycomb and does not understand the people or the community.

Miss Blount, an older, strict, experienced teacher, represents school as it had always been conducted in Maycomb; she is also an insider having lived in Maycomb all her life.

Miss Gates (another of Scout's teachers) and Mrs. Merriweather (a member of Alexandra's missionary circle) represent the same ideas, those of ignorance, bigotry, and hypocrisy. Both women have great sympathy for poor or persecuted people outside of Maycomb, people they don't know, but neither woman has any compassion for her black neighbors and their oppression.

Dolphus Raymond represents the idea of racism and social ostracism. Because he chooses to live with a black woman and their children, Raymond is shunned by those in the white community in Maycomb who abhor his lifestyle. Because these people could never understand his lack of racism, Raymond pretends to drink excessively, thereby giving them a reason for his behavior that they can understand. He chooses to live this lie so that they will leave him and his family alone.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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