Who is having the tea that Scout attends in To Kill a Mockingbird?
The ladies of the Maycomb Alabama Methodist Episcopal Church South portray an unflattering side of Southern womenhood in Chapter 24 of Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird. The women's missionary group gathers for tea regularly, and it is Aunt Alexandra's turn to host them at the Finch house. Mrs. Merriweather delivers a report on the Mrunas of Africa, a poor tribe (fictional, actually) that has had Christianity thrust upon them by the heroic missionary, J. Grimes Everett (another Lee creation). But other subjects begin to take precedent: First, they discuss Scout's unladylike appearance, and then the talk turns to the black problem in Maycomb since the Tom Robinson conviction. Despite their concern for the poor Mrunas, they have little sympathy for their black neighbors in town. Their hypocrisy is not lost on Miss Maudie, who fires back at Mrs. Merriweather.
But Atticus arrives, and he has bad news: Tom Robinson has been killed. He informs Maudie, Alexandra and Scout; they are upset, but they recover and rejoin the rest of the women, since the tea must go on. Scout is impressed with the mannerly, ladylike composure of Maudie and Alexandra, and decides that
After all, if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.