Hypocrisy in "To Kill a Mockingbird" Harper Lee

May 28, 2020 by Essay Writer

In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ Harper Lee expresses hypocrisy in many ways. By being in narration of Scout throughout the novel we learn the amount of hypocrisy that goes on in Maycomb. Maycomb is filled with hypocrisy because of their society and their actions. To begin with , Mrs. Gates explains that all that Hitler did to Jews was terrible because it showed prejudice but yet she was doing the exact same to Tom Robinson. Mrs. Gates explains to her class that Jews were being judged because of their religion, they had done nothing wrong and yet they were being judged and being sent and killed in concentration camps.

“Over here we don’t believe in persecuting anybody. Persecution comes from people who are prejudiced. Prejudice.”. Even though Mrs. Gates believed she was against prejudice, she really was being a hypocrite and doing the same thing with Tom and other African Americans. But only she wasn’t basing it off religion she was basing it off of their race.

When Mrs. Gates exits the courtroom and she says ‘ It’s time somebody taught em a lesson they were gettin way above themselves.’ Mrs. Gates believes that it is okay to kill an innocent black man but it’s not okay to kill innocent Jews because of religion. This shows hypocrisy because she is basically doing the same thing as Hitler was doing, but she still believes it’s okay for her to do because of their race.

Another way hypocrisy is shown in Maycomb is when Aunt Alexandra believes that the Finch family is superior to most of the other families in Maycomb. This shows hypocrisy because their family history isn’t superior to other families but , yet in reality Atticus explains that their family is just as racist as the other families in Maycomb. The Finches aren’t any better than the rest of the town yet Aunt Alexandra believes they are. Another way that hypocrisy is shown in the novel is when Bob Edwell wants Tom Robinson to be put to death for what he ‘did’ even though it really was him.

Bob testified against Tom because he wants him to go to jail for hurting Mayella yet he is in fact the one who hurt Mayella not Tom. Bob wants justice for Mayella by putting Tom in jail but he doesn’t think that he did anything wrong . As a result of these actions from the people in Maycomb , it brings hypocrisy into their society seen by Scout.

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