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To Kill a Mocking Bird Hypocrisy Paper

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    Imagine having your life completely destroyed by a fraudulent charge just because of the color of your skin. There are many examples of hypocrisy in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Some of the most glaring examples of hypocrisy come from three female characters: Mrs. Dubose, Mrs. Merriweather, and Mrs. Gates. Each character said a hypocritical statement in this novel. A quote and detailed context will be used to explain to the full extent what was hypocritical with their statement. Mrs. Dubose is prejudiced against negros, yet she has a black servant who helps her maintain her life. “But Mrs. Dubose held us: ‘Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggers! ’” (Pg. 101). Mrs. Dubose is a very sick morphine addict. The later part of the quote refers to Atticus and the Tom Robinson trial. She is stunned and disappointed that a member of the Finch family is defending a negro. She very much dislikes negros and even carries a CSA pistol in her shawls.

    She even goes on to say that Atticus is no better than the negros and trash he works for. She shows all this hostility toward negros, yet she has her “girl”; a black housekeeper named Jesse. Jesse is the one who helps, maintains, cares, and gives medication to Mrs. Dubose even though she is black. This clearly proves how Mrs. Dubose is one of the most prominent examples of a hypocrite. There is another hypocrite named Mrs. Merriweather, who is surprisingly in a missionary circle. Mrs. Merriweather refuses to congregate with the Blacks, yet she calls the northerners hypocrites and has a black housekeeper. “‘Gertude, I tell you there’s nothing more distracting than a sulky darky. Their mouths go down to here. Just ruins your day to have one of ‘em in the kitchen’” (Pg. 232). Mrs. Merriweather is part of Aunt Alexandra’s missionary circle, which appears late in the novel. Although missionary circles are supposed to discuss God, this one only discusses gossip. Her black housekeeper is Sophy.

    She says she only keeps Sophy because Sophy desperately needs the money. This contradicts what she said about the whites and blacks being equal as she is a wealthy white women, whereas the blacks are struggling for even the most basic items. She calls the northerners “hypocrites” for setting their blacks free, but she herself refuses to interact with them or treat them equal. She even states and believes that down in the South, the blacks can go about their ways of life, and the whites can go about theirs.

    What she fails to realize, however, is that because of all the Jim Crow “Separate but equal” laws and discrimination practiced in the South, the blacks are not able to go about their ways of life without negative interruption. Mrs. Merriweather is a surprising but clear example of hypocrisy. A final surprising example of hypocrisy comes from a schoolteacher named Mrs. Gates. Mrs. Gates says all the prejudiced evil actions that Hitler did in Germany against the Jews does not happen in the democracy of America, yet she says the blacks need to be kept in their place. ‘Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced. Prejudice. ’” (Pg. 245). Mrs. Gates is Scout’s third grade teacher. The discussion comes up when Cecil Jacobs brings in a newspaper clipping on Hitler for a Current Event assignment. She tells her class about all the evil things that Hilter is doing in Germany; however, Scout overheard her state how happy she was that Tom Robinson was convicted and that the blacks need to be kept in their place.

    She says that the Jew’s persecution “Was one of the most terrible stories in history. ” She defends a group of people thousands of miles away, and yet she blatantly discriminates the people right at home. She even tries to avoid the subject by glorifying how wonderful our democracy and denouncing Hitler’s cruel dictatorship. The hypocrisy is so conspicuous that even Scout recognizes it. When she goes to tell Jem about it, he gets furious because he easily understands it. Mrs. Gates is another perceptible example of hypocrisy that everybody, including Scout, understands.

    The conclusion will wrap up the topic and thesis. Some examples of hypocrisy were very palpable in this novel. There were many cases in To Kill a Mockingbird where hypocrisy was shown. My three examples of hypocrisy were among the most obvious. They clearly showed that hypocrisy was an important part of the novel. It made the theme of moral education more important as Scout frequently had teachers who were morally hypocritical. Hypocrisy had an important role by helping to better understand the novel and its characters.

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