Examples Of Hypocrisy In To Kill A Mockingbird

Decent Essays
In life people learn mostly from experience, even if they experience something through another means. Over this past summer I had the privilege of reading the award winning book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. At first glance, the novel just reinforced one of my basic morals: racism is wrong. Upon a closer look I picked up on some more subtle themes that Lee expressed in her novel. One of the underlying themes made me think about a belief I had come to believe for many years: hypocrisy is wrong. The characterization Lee used in To Kill a Mockingbird taught me that although hypocrisy is wrong, it is beneficial because it destroys innocence which is necessary for change. The hypocrisy that was obvious to me at first was when Aunt…show more content…
If Aunt Alexandra had kept her innocence she wouldn’t have been able to change. So while I still think hypocrisy is wrong, I do believe it can be beneficial. Even though this situation stuck out to me as being hypocritical, a different situation stuck out to Scout. At school, Scout's teacher made some comments regarding Hitler, which made Scout see the hypocrisy that was widely spread throughout Maycomb. After some thought, Scout addressed Jem saying, "Jem, how can you hate Hitler so bad an' then turn around and be ugly about folks right at home" (Lee 283). In third grade, Scout is able to see that people are blind to their hypocrisy. They are easily able to look outward and criticize others for their behavior but yet are too blind to realize that they do the same thing. Jem's response to this question was rage, which showed Scout that people do not like to be called out on their hypocrisy. It was not right for Scout's teacher or anyone in Maycomb to judge Hitler for persecuting good people when they persecute good people themselves. As a result of this, Scout learns that people are extremely hypocritical which helps to take away her innocent thought that the world is a fair and just place. Now that she can see this more clearly, she can make an effort to call people out on their hypocrisy so they put a stop to it. Looking back on this I am able to see a beneficial side to the teacher's hypocrisy. It taught
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