To Kill a Mockingbird: Chapter 24

960 Words4 Pages
Chapter 24 is the scene of Aunt Alexandra’s “Missionary Tea”. At first, it seems that this chapter has no real importance in the whole of the book, but at a second glance you realize that many of the story’s themes are echoed during the tea party. Four of those major themes are sexism, sin, racism, and hypocrisy. From the very beginning sexism plays a major part of the enfolding story. Scout is told time and time again to, “Behave like a Lady,”, from the first description of Maycomb, when ladies are described as soft frosted teacakes, to the pink Sunday dress that Scout is forced to wear to the tea party. It seems that women are meant to stay inside, stay put, and do so without complaint. Wear pastel colors, powder your face, smooth balm over your lips, paint your nails, and you will be deemed suitable enough for a lady. Speak politely, smile even when not needed, gossip with reverence, disguise your insults, and you will have behaved like a lady. Scout, of course, is only nine but she has already felt the pressure to behave like a lady. Even growing Jem has started to hound on her about the “Ways of the World”. Despite that, she spends most days outdoors and is not afraid to speak her mind. Scout is not a lady, of which she is reminded of when the others laugh when she tells them about her hidden britches, but neither does she wish to be a lady, or rather the type of lady that Mrs.Merriweather would deem acceptable. Tying in to “being a lady” is sin. Religion is a deep part of the southern culture in which the Finches live. Every action is guided by gods’ judgment. Don’t do this, it’s a sin. Don’t say that, it’s wrong. According to Mrs. Merriweather, all people should follow the Christian way. The Mrunas, with their worms and yaws, could be fixed with Christianity, and so could the Robinson family. No sin and squalor could last under the golden teachings of

More about To Kill a Mockingbird: Chapter 24

Open Document