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Summary
· The chapter begins at the end of August, Scout has been left by
Jem and Dill while they go skinny dipping and so is in the house
with Calpurnia and Aunt Alexandra (who is hosting a Missionary
Tea). Scout unusually is wearing a dress for the occasion and
decides to stay in the kitchen (in case she gets the dress dirty
and gives Calpurnia the chore of cleaning her dress for her),
however, Aunt Alexandra strangely allows Calpurnia to serve
everyone at the tea, so Scout helps by bringing a Silver pitcher
in, at which point she is invited to stay at the meeting. The
women at the missionary are discussing the Mruans (an African
tribe they are eager to `help'), but quickly start to gossip.
Although Scout is unaware of what is going on, she listens in and
is questioned by Miss Stephanie about what she would like to do
when she is older. With the help of Miss Maudie, she avoids
saying anything compromising. Miss Maudie then helps Aunt
Alexandra in a way Scout cannot understand. At the end of the
chapter, Atticus comes home early and informs Aunt Alexandra
of Tom Robinsons death, he and Calpurnia go to tell Helen
Robinson and Aunt Alexandra re-joins the missionary group and
acts like nothing is wrong. Scout follows her example, saying if
Aunt Alexandra can be a Lady at a time like this, so can she. The
chapter contains a lot of humor because of Scouts…read more

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Themes/Links
Prejudice/ Hypocrisy- From Scouts observations, we learn about the
women of Maycomb at that time. Ironically, the missionary are talking of
the difficult conditions of the Mruans (an African tribe), despite the fact
that none of them appear to be worried about the African Americans in
their own neighbourhood who are suffering. The phrase "sulky darky" is
used when referring to Miss Merriweathers maid.
Growing up- The woman, (although Scout says she "was more at home
in my [her] fathers world"), make an impression on Scout and we see
how she acknowledges she will have to "enter this [the woman's] world".
Scout also appears to be becoming more empathetic; she choses to
stay in the kitchen in case she gets her dress dirty so that Calpurnia
won't have to clean it, and helps Calpurnia bring in a silver pitcher to the
missionary meeting. At the end of the chapter, Aunt Alexandra appears
to finally be making an impression as female figure on Scout, who says
"if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I" (pg. 262)after
being told of Tom Robinsons death. This shows how Scout has grown
up from letting emotions out physically and how she can now stay
composed. This news also highlights how trivial the women's talk is.
Courage- Within chapter 24, courage is shown in Miss Maudie; she not
only stays by Scouts side when Scout is being pressed by Miss
Stephenie, but stands up for Atticus, icily saying to Miss Merriwater "his
food doesn't stick going down, does it" to remind her of whose house
she is when Miss Merriwater talks of someone who she won't name
being misguided (pg. 257). Aunt Alexandra also shows courage in
keeping composer when learning of the sad death of Tom Robinson, a
new, admirable quality we see in her that Scout too appreciates.…read more

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Development of Characters
Aunt Alexandra- This chapter gives an interesting insight into the life
of a woman in Maycomb. Aunt Alexandra plays the host to a
missionary tea that ultimately is an idle date of gossip between the
ladies, all of whom seem to lack substance. In the chapter Aunt
Alexandra shows the quality of restraint; being the host she doesn't
say anything to the ladies about their gossip, but is shown to be
grateful that Miss Maudie takes it upon herself to stand up for what
she believes in. This quality is shown again at the end of the chapter
when Aunt Alexandra doesn't let the ladies of the meeting know
about Tom's death. We see a softer and preferable side in Aunt
Alexandra, she shows she really cares about Atticus on page 260
when she says "He doesn't show it much, but it tears him to pieces"
From this quote it is evident she empathises with Atticus even if she
may not agree with his actions
Miss Maudie- Miss Maudie once again breaks the mould of a
Maycomb lady in this chapter. She, like Atticus, stands up for what
she believes in, in this chapter, through her defensive "icy" words to
Miss Merriweather. It is clear that amongst Calpurnia and Aunt
Alexandra, Miss Maudie is a definite female role model in Scouts life.
We see this when she takes hold of Scouts hand, helping her silently
when Miss Stephenie questions Scout.…read more

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Extract
"...no matter how undelectable they
were, there was something about
them that I instinctively liked...they
weren't-
`Hypocrites, Mrs Perkins, born
hypocrites,' Mrs Merriweather was
saying. `At lease we don't have that
sin on our shoulders down here.
People up there set `em free, but
you don't see `em settin' at the table
with `em. At least we don't have the
deceit to say to `em yes you're as
good as us but stay away from us.
Down here we just say you'll live
your way and we'll live ours. "page
258…read more

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