“Hypocrisy is the mother of all evil and racial prejudice is her favorite child” (Don King). In Harper Lee’s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, a young girl named Scout is receiving a first hand experience of racism and its brutality. In Chapter 26, during school, Scout’s teacher, Mrs. Gates explains what a democracy is and how it differs from the events taking place in Germany with Hitler and the Jews. Using her biased opinion, Mrs. Gates shows Scout that the world can be a cruel place in more ways than one. During the scene, “Mrs. Gates,” Scout learns that hypocrisy exists in the most trusted through the character of Mrs. Gates, the internal conflict of Mrs. Gates and racism, and the settings of both the school and the Finch home. The character of Mrs. Gates shows Scout that hypocrisy is present within by demonstrating her hate for others. To begin, whilst learning about world events, Mrs. Gates states, “Over here we …show more content…
During school, Mrs. Gates “went to the black board” and wrote on it in large white letters (Lee 328). The blackboard in the school represents Tom Robinson in the courthouse being covered by the white because the school house is supposed to be an unbiased place similar to court, however in both of these situations, they were not. The school house is also behind the Radley House which represents racism which means that the school is a prejudice pace where Scout feels judged for sharing her ideas against racism. Also, when in the Finch home, Scout “crept from Jem’s room” (Lee 331). The Finch home is the most non racist place in the county of Maycomb, so this allows Scout to go home and feel safe to share her ideas. The fact that Scout is coming out of Jem’s room in the back of the house,, tells the reader that she was deep into the house where she was accepted. The setting of the school yard and the Finch home helps Scout learn about racial
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This illustrates that Scout has learned to not get too involved in the business of others. More importantly, Scout learns about hypocrisy through her teacher, Miss Gates. Miss Gates says that Adolf Hitler is a bad man for
She grew up never understanding what was going on around her, but as she grew older she understood the bad things that were happening around her. Scout grew up in a very racist town, surrounded by racists every day she had to know what was right and what was wrong. “There’s something in our world that makes men lose their heads—they couldn’t be fair if they tried. In our courts, when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly, but those are the facts of life”(Lee 330).
Scout is again being taunted by a peer for her father’s defense of a black person. Although Atticus has tried to instill in his children a sense of morality, it is tested by the racist residents of Maycomb. Scout here learns of prejudice that she doesn’t understand because Atticus has raised his children to be logical and to value a person for themselves rather than their skin color. Blatant racism is also demonstrated on page 135 when Ms. Dubose says to Scout and Jem, “‘Your father’s no better than the niggers and the trash he works for!’” The fact that an old woman is attacking young children for their father’s profession, shows how Maycomb is deeply rooted in racism.
The author demonstrates the problems in the school systems when Scout enters school she is reprimanded by her teacher, Mrs. Honeycomb for reading proficiently. She is commanded to “tell [her] father not to teach [her] anymore” and stop reading outside of school. Lee’s incongruity of the situation alerts her readers to the flaws within the school system. Lee satirizes the church when Scout and Jem are taken to church by Calpurnia, their black housekeeper, when the children’s father is unavailable. At this Christian church, the children are ridiculed for being white.
The story is told in scout’s point of view and through her eyes we may fittingly understand the author’s message and how it is still relevant in
Being the older sibling, Jem realizes the long-held values of Maycomb, but only as he matures does he understand what it means to have moral integrity. There are many times in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee in which the reader can see Jem’s maturity and his moral values. The first time Jem starts to understand moral integrity is when he is forced to read to Mrs. Dubose. After her death, Atticus explains just how much she was going through, and this information had a great impact on Jem. Jem furthers his knowledge of moral integrity during the trial.
At school, Scout nearly starts a fight with a classmate named Cecil Jacobs after he declares that her “daddy defends niggers” (Lee, 74). Scout being too young to fully understand this statement automatically denies it. Atticus, who has been asked to defend Tom Robinson, a black man accused of raping a white woman has received many controversial remarks on his take of the case. Although Scout does not initiate the fight with Cecil, her “fists [a]re clenched and [she is] ready to let [them] fly” (Lee, 74). This depicts another one of Scout’s un-ladylike reactions because the ladylike response would be to simply ignore the boy and to remain prim and proper.
Gates, and Mrs. Merriweather. Hypocrisy is a major theme in To Kill a Mockingbird and Harper Lee leaves an underlying message to explain what the times were like. Aunt Alexandra was hypocritical because her statements about Cousin Joshua and the Cunninghams. Miss Gates was also hypocritical because of her statements about Hitler and the black people in Maycomb. Lastly, Mrs. Merriweather is a voice of hypocrisy because of her opinion about blacks in Maycomb and blacks in Africa.
Humans live in a world where moral values are very clearly set determining what is good and what is bad. We know what scares us and how racism should be treated. Nevertheless, this was not the case back in Alabama during the 1950s. In the famous novel To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee narrates the lives of the people of Maycomb, Alabama, focusing on the story of Scout and Jem Finch, and the case of a said to be rape. In this emotion filled narrative, readers learn how life was back then not only in general, but for the separate social statuses that there was.
Gates then goes on to share how “there are no better people in the world than Jews” (Lee 329), and it is beyond her comprehension to know why Hitler could commit acts against them. The irony lies in her blindness to the similar oppression happening in her home town. The children are taught that Hitler is a monster for his anti semitic actions in Germany; meanwhile, African Americans are forced to face daily suppression in Maycomb County. Both groups have stereotypes that cause others to perceive them as
She didn 't fully understand what was going on therefore can 't comprehend the miscarriages of justice. As she can 't fully compose adult commentary, the novel was shown in innocence. One advantage of reading this novel from Scout 's point of view is when she experiences something for the first time, so does the reader. Such as when she goes to Cal 's church and experiences the bitterness some black members have towards white members in
Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced” (Lee 329). While this may seem like a useful life lesson, Scout realizes the clear hypocrisy in her lesson. Like every other citizen of Maycomb, she is prejudiced against black people. Even though she is teaching her students that prejudice and persecution is wrong, she is participating in those very activities at home. She heard her third grade teacher after Tom Robinson’s trial, she thought “it’s time somebody taught ‘em a lesson, they were gettin’ way above themselves, an’ the next thing they think they can do is marry us” (Lee 331).
How does Harper Lee vividly capture the effects of racism and social inequality on the citizens of Maycomb county in ‘To kill a mockingbird’? In the novel, ‘To kill a mockingbird’, Harper Lee conveys the theme of racism and social inequality by setting up the story in Maycomb, a small community in Alabama, the U.S back in 1930s. Lee presents some of the social issues of 1930s such as segregation and poverty in the novel. These issues are observed and examined through the innocent eyes of a young girl, Scout, the narrator.
By the end of the novel during the court scene and Tom’s death, we see the final stages of her development and how far she has come as she can 't stand for Tom’s discrimination which only further proves her power to rebel against something that everyone conforms to. This shows her make her own opinion about racism which creates the exciting environment that we find ourselves in while reading. The novel has many important points and moments which make a lasting impression on us even after reading the novel. One of the biggest ideas which are focused on in this essay is Scout 's development and how it allows her to forge her own opinions. Scout learns to separate herself from the conforming sheep that Maycomb residents are described to be.
Children go to school to gain knowledge, but life can give children the most important education. In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, Jem, and Scout are two growing children navigating life in the 1930’s in racist Alabama. They see racism throughout their town and have to navigate how they want to live their lives or follow their town. In their own school, they see racist people, and they often question what they hear, see, and learn.