1. MiltonClemens
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    MiltonClemens Member

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    Hypocrisy

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by MiltonClemens, Oct 7, 2009.

    I noticed that in the blurb of "To Kill a Mockingbird", Hypocrisy was one of the themes. I am a bit confused, what does hypocrisy have to do with "To Kill a Mockingbird?" is it the people of Maycomb who're hypocrites?
     
  2. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would argue that hypocrisy is inextricably linked with racism in To Kill A Mockingbird. The way in which the people of Maycombe are morally staid, but quick to judge. A more interesting discussion would be to discover if Atticus is a hypocrite. The answer, surely is no, but bear in mind that the court case is thrust upon him with little room for manoeuvre. Morally, he could hardly decline, but professionally, neither could he.
     
  3. MiltonClemens
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    MiltonClemens Member

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    What do you mean?
     
  4. Gannon
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    Gannon Contributing Member Contributor

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    I am saying to question why Atticus defends so competently. Is it for moral reasons? Certainly. Is it for professional reasons? Certainly. He has little choice when the case is assigned to him. Is Atticus a hypocrite? Probably not, but it would be harder to acquit him entirely than it was his defendant.

    There are shades of interpretation in TKAM, but imagine a contemporary reader picking up a copy, agreeing with his or her own moral code and denouncing the activities of the county, and in practice very similar activities occuring in their neighbourhoods.

    Maybe this is another form of hypocrisy worth investigating as Lee did not just intend to write a story.
     
  5. Kirvee
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    Kirvee Contributing Member

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    The way I see it, racism and religion always involves hypocrisy. I think that's pretty much what happened in TKAM (I haven't read it since I was in 9th grade, 3 years ago, btw).

    If I recall correctly, the people of Maycombe were all pretty much by-the-book Christians. The religion teaches to embrace all people, but the townspeople were all (more or less) judgemental and racist toward both the recluse (forgot his name) and the framed black man (also forgot his name). Right there is your hypocrisy.
     

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