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To Kill a Mockingbird

by Harper Lee

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What two factors prevent Mr. Raymond from being considered trash in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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To the prejudiced citizens of Maycomb, Alabama, Dolphus Raymond is not considered trash because he comes from an old family and owns an entire side of the riverbank. However, the racist community members view Dolphus with contempt because he associates with the black community and even has several biracial children. Interestingly, Atticus has a different definition than his racist neighbors about what makes a man trash. In chapter 23, Atticus tells his children,

As you grow older, you’ll see white men cheat black men every day of your life, but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it—whenever a white man does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash (Lee 224).

While the prejudiced citizens of Maycomb believe that Dolphus Raymond's family name and property prevent him from being considered trash, Atticus believes that Dolphus is not trash because he treats black people fairly. During the trial, Scout has to take Dill outside and ends up meeting Dolphus Raymond, who explains to them that he feigns alcoholism in order to avoid conflict.

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Some of the towns people say that Mr. Raymond is not trash because he is white and comes from a land-owning, "good" family.

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