Mr. Dolphus Raymond of To Kill a Mockingbird
- has a black mistress and mixed children who "don't belong anywhere"
- lives among black people
- lives on "the wrong side of town'
- is not ostracized by the white community of Maycomb because he is considered eccentric by the community, a reason to excuse his flaunting of social taboos
- is considered a drunkard, but he carries Coca-Cola in a brown paper bag. Mr. Raymond tells the children it gives the townspeople another reason to excuse him
Mr. Dolphus Raymond is a character who helps develop the complex attitude of the Maycomb community regarding race. While it is acceptable to have black maids that one feels fondly toward, Aunt Alexandra demonstrates that there are limits to the maid's interaction with the family. One does not attend church with them or have them prepare the teacakes for the ladies of the church. Mixing of the races is not permitted, unless one is eccentric like Mr. Raymond or too low in status to be of concern.
Contrary to Scout's impression that Mr. Dolphus Raymond is "an evil man," he talks with the children and consoles Dill when he is overcome by the injustice of Tom Robinson's trial. He explains,
'Things haven't caught up with that one's instinct yet. Let him get a little older and he won't get sick and cry. Maybe things'll strike him as being--not quite right, say, but he won't cry, not when he gets a few years on him....Cry about the simple hell people give other people--without even thinking. Cry about the hell white people give colored folks, without even stopping to think they're people, too.' (Ch.20)
In a sense, Mr. Raymond is a foil to Atticus, for while he eschews the society of his own people, avoiding their hypocricy and racism, Atticus seeks to fight against these wrongs. Yet, like Atticus, he acts as a voice for Harper Lee in expressing her themes of racial prejudice and tolerance and the motif of hypocrisy in To Kill a Mockingbird.