Hypocrisy of an Adult World in To Kill A Mockingbird

         In “To Kill A Mockingbird” by Harper Lee, there are several examples of how the youth, Jem and Scout, see the hypocrisy and injustice of the adult world, especially in the deep south in the 20’s. With the prejudice against races and the war going on, there are several hypocritical and unjust points made in the novel. The situation of Lula not wanting to allow the kids into the black church, Aunt Alexandra’s view on the Cunningham’s, and Mrs. Merriweather’s comments about the Mrunas then the black people are all perfect examples of the kids being exposed to the hypocrisy and injustice of the adult world. Harper Lee does a perfect job of fitting all this into one novel.

        In the middle of the book, while Atticus was out of town, Cal led the kids to her church. However, her church was a black church and one woman there, Lula, didn’t care too much for white kids being there. “You ain’t got no business bringin’ white chillun here- they got their church, we got our’n.” pg 119 paragraph 7. Her reasoning for not wanting the kids there at her church is because they are white and Lula complains of all white people being prejudice against them but in her hate for whites and their prejudice, she too, is being racist and prejudice. This was a way that Jem and Scout saw the hypocrisy of an adult world because they saw someone being mad at a certain race for doing exactly what she does.

        Another way that the youth, Jem and Scout, areforced to see the hypocrisy of the adult world is from their own family, Aunt Alexandra. In the novel, Aunt Alexandra sticks up for Cousin Joshua even though he did some crazy things, like try to shoot the president, because he is family and family members stand up for one-another. However, when Aunt Alexandra is discussing the Walter Cunningham, she says “The fact is, he(Walter Cunningham) is not kin to us, but if he were, my answer would be the same.” pg 224 paragraph 10. This is very hypocritical of her to say, because she originally told the childeren to stick with their family members but now shes saying that even if this dirty kid was family, she still woudnt stick with him. This is showing the kids that she believes in family pride only when she likes the person shes standing up for, or if it helps her prove her point. This, too, shows the youth of To Kill A Mockingbird the hypocrisy and unjust of the adult world and that they will not follow their own advice if it helps them.

        During Aunt Alexandra’s party near the end of the book, Mrs. Merriweathermade some very hypocritical comments referring, first, to the Mrunas the, second, about the blacks. Mrs Merriweather went on and on about how much she respects and likes J. Grimes Everett because he is helping the Mrunas. “Not a white person will go near them but that saintly J. Grimes Everett.” pg 230 paragraph 9. She deeply respects this man for helping a minority but then just a few comments later she says “…there’s nothing more distracting than a sulky darky…Just ruins your day to have one of  ‘em in your kitchen.” pg 232 paragraph 1. This was very hypocritical because she cannot see that the type of people that J. Grimes Everett is helping, is almost exactly like the situation of the black people in the south. She calls a man who helps people of another race ‘saintly’ but then goes around and bad mouths people of another race. This is yet another way the youth of the novel is exposed to hypocrisy in an adult world and.

        Haper Lee does a brilliant job of describing the hypocrisy and unjust of the adult world in her novel “To Kill A Mockingbird” especially in the south of the ’20s. With examples of racism and adults saying one thing at one time, then the complete opposite not too long after, “To Kill A Mockingbird” is a perfect example of hypocrisy. Whether its a respected neighbor saying it, a   disgrimanated against person, or your own family, hyporcisy is commonly found through-out the adult world and Harper Lee does a perfect job capturing that.

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One Response to “Hypocrisy of an Adult World in To Kill A Mockingbird”

  1. Maria Sacrowitz Says:

    I really liked this page for To Kill A Mockingbird. I had to recently write a paper for this and had had a hard time finding one more exmple of hypocrisy in adult society. Dont worry I cited the source, and put the example into my own words by paraphrasing. Thank you very much!

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