To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 20

How do Dolphus Raymond’s actions when Scout and Dill meet him on the street represent the town of Maycomb? Cite examples from the text where people act differently in public than when they are in the privacy of their own home.

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Mr. Dolphus Raymond is known as the town drunk, because he always carries his drink in a brown paper bag, and tends to sway a bit in his walk. Mr. Raymond is also married to a black woman and has mixed children. When running from the courthouse, Dill and Scout run into Mr. Raymond and he offers Dill a sip of his drink. Scout is wary, but Mr. Raymond promises Dill it will make him feel better. Dill takes a sip and discovers Mr. Raymond is hiding a bottle of Coca-Cola in his infamous paper bag. Scout asks why he does such a thing, and Mr. Raymond explains he feels he has to give the population some reason for his odd behavior (being friendly toward black people). Mr. Raymond believes it's easier for people to handle strangeness when they have a reason to explain it. Thus, he pretends to be a drunkard. He says he thinks that children like Dill, who is so upset over the trial, haven't lost the instinct that tells them that it's wrong for white people to "give hell" to black people without consideration for their basic humanity.

In Maycomb, many people engage in this same type of behavior. The Missionary Society takes up the cause of people on the other side of the ocean and ignores the plight of the poor in their own community. Mrs. Dubose puts on a hard front while battling disease and addiction. Calpurnia shows a different side of herself when attending the black church than she does when working in the Finch home.