To Kill A Brown Bag Character Analysis

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What's Hidden in a Brown Bag

A man sits outside a packed courthouse, sipping coca-cola out of a brown bag. He is assumed to be the town drunk, but for many years, no one knew his secret. In To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, the town of Maycomb has many ideas about the people who reside in it. As the plot progresses and Jem and Scout grow up, they learn that people are not what they seem. For years, Scout and Jem assumed that what people said about Boo Radley was true. They believed the neighborhood legend, and spent their summers trying to catch a glimpse of him. They tried to slip notes through the windows, dared each other to touch the house, and got caught trying to peek inside at night. To them Boo was almost a mythical creature,
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Raymond hid something very different. He sits outside the courthouse with what everyone assumes is liquor in a brown bag. But when Jem, Scout and Dill approach him, he encourages Dill to take a sip. The kids soon realize that Dolphus Raymond isn’t a drunk, just trying to fit in a town where no one understands him or his life choices. In a time where black people are treated as less than human, interracial couples were practically unheard of. Mr. Raymond explains to the kids, “I try to give ‘em reason, you see...When I come into town, which is seldom, if I weave a little and drink out of this sack, folks can saw Dolphus Raymond’s in the clutches of whiskey-that's why he won’t change his ways. He can’t help himself, that's why he loves the way he does.” (page 268) Scout doesn’t understand why he would bother lying and making himself out to be a worse person than he is. But she doesn’t comprehend that by lying, in most folks eyes, he is a better person. People will assume that he’s a drunk and is incapable of thinking straight and finding a white wife. This is a clear example of a misguided assumptions in this novel. People are perfectly content believing the illusion of a white man loving a black women is only because of the bottle, while in reality, he despises the white society and the hypocrisy it has and prefers living with the blacks. With this revelation, although Scout may not know it yet, she became exposed to

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