What are the themes for Chapter 24 in 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?

Expert Answers
gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

clairewait eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question