What is ironic in To Kill a Mockingbird about the concern that the ladies of the Missionary Society have for the living condition of the Mrunas?

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

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The ladies of the Missionary Society in Harper Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird worked themselves into a tither over the conditions of the poor Mrunas, an African tribe that had recently been converted to Christianity. The good ladies fully supported with a sympathetic view their new Christian brothers in Africa, but were quick to hypocritically condemn the highly religious black community in Maycomb for their "uppity" ways after the Tom Robinson trial.

...the cooks and field hands are just dissatisfied, but they're settling down now--they grumbled all next day after that trial.

The ladies were shocked at the purported living conditions of the Mrunas, but turned a blind eye to the poverty that existed among the blacks in their own town. They were critical of the recent behavior of many of Maycomb's blacks, escpecially Mrs. Merriweather:

...sulky... disatisfied... I tell you if my Sophy'd kept it up another day I'd have let her go. It's never entered that wool of hers that the only reason I keep her is because of this depression's on and she needs her dollar and a quarter every week she can get it.

Miss Maudie took exception to the hypocrisy, however.

His food doesn't stick going down, does it?

(Interestingly, the Mrunas were a fictitious tribe that Harper Lee originated in the novel.)

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