Essay by zoogirlHigh School, 10th gradeA, January 2003

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Hypocrite. It is a word that has been around since the beginning of time. Wars, death, and suffering of great magnitude resulted from the misuse of this word. However, does one know how to use it in the very context of the word? And how to identify a person with the characteristics of hypocrisy?

Webster's Dictionary defines a hypocrite as:

"[The] Pretense of virtue, benevolence, or religion"

Although, the dictionary's definition is not as clear as one would like it; understanding the word is palpable. Virtually, hypocrite, means someone that makes a façade of his or her righteousness, his or her character or his or her religion. Usually, the word is used toward one's belief or politics. For example, politically, it means to say that one believes in the policies of a country but then they pledge allegiance to another county. In religion, it is the same thing. One says they believe something but then do not act on those beliefs.

One should not use this word on light terms. To accuse someone of hypocrisy can mean one's death in some countries On the other hand, hypocrisy is in the hearts of people, than shown in their actions. Therefore, one has to look inside themselves and determine whether they are a wafa n. hypocrite before they can express the fact that others are.

The characteristics of a hypocrite are very evident to those around one. Their actions and what they say can be a clue to what they truly believe. For example, if one says they believe in something and then they do the complete opposite of what someone of that belief does, and then they are a hypocrite. To some, the admittance of their true character can be a complete shock, but in their hearts, they knew...