Dolphus Raymond: In what ways is he important to the novel as a whole?

English and Things

I very much enjoyed our discussion about Dolphus Raymond yesterday. Here is a summary of some of the brilliant and thought-provoking points that you made:

  1. Setting – By choosing to ‘live a lie’ (by pretending to be an alcoholic), the reader becomes aware of the extremes that people are willing to go to in order to survive in the small-minded, gossiping community of Maycomb. Dolphus Raymond is prepared to alienate himself from the white community by pretending to be ‘unacceptable’. His behaviour is, no doubt, frowned upon by the puritanical and self-righteous members of Maycomb’s religious community, and he is mis-judged, on a daily basis. Yet he is willing to put up with this because he feels it is better than attempting to explain his lifestyle to people who would not understand. This really alerts us to just how small-minded the community of Maycomb is.
  2. Character – In some ways, Dolphus Raymond…

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