Hypocrisy In To Kill A Mockingbird Essay

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As Don King, a famous, black boxing promoter, once said, “Hypocrisy is the mother of all evil and racial prejudice is still her favorite.” Both of these themes, hypocrisy and prejudice, are very prevalent in Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird; many white people in the fictional town of Maycomb criticize discrimination, sympathize with the oppressed, and praise those who take action, but only when it occurs in other parts of the world. However, when the injustice hits closer to home, the townspeople refuse to believe that prejudice lives, breathes, and thrives inside of them. When Scout and Jem’s Aunt Alexandra moves in with them, her suitcases are full of hypocrisy and classism. Aunt Alexandra is all about promoting family pride and loving family members, even if he or she is deranged, like Cousin Joshua. Alexandra calls Joshua “‘a beautiful character,’” (176), despite his flaws of being “‘locked up for so long,’” (176), and trying “‘shoot the president,’” (176). However, if Cousin Joshua was destitute, like the…show more content…
One of the women, Mrs. Merriweather, has plenty to say. First, she worships J. Grimes Everett for helping the Mrunas, a group of non-Christians “crawling with yaws and earworms,” (305), because “‘not a white person’ll go near ‘em but that saintly J. Grimes Everett.’” (309). Yet Mrs. Merriweather, while sitting in his house and eating his food, indirectly calls Atticus “good but misguided,” (311), denouncing his participation in the Robinson case to an annoyance that stirs up the black community and causes her help, Sophy, to be “‘a sulky darky,’” (310). Mrs. Merriweather is the epitome of a hypocrite; she acts as though she is superior to the rest of the world because she is a Christian who demands donations to help the Mrunas, yet she is incapable of batting an eyelash at the poverty-stricken blacks in her own
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