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Tom Robinsons Trial And To Kill A Mocking Bird

.. rassment was a subject too mature for their age. The childrens innocence allows them to see through the artificial barrier of colour and to accept and individual for what they are. Harper Lee uses Atticus and his relationship with his children to integrate the themes of growing up and the law. Atticus raises his children according to his principles.

His teachings to his children come back to reward him. For example he explains to his daughter Scout how the Cunningham family is poor but proud enough that they do not accept charity. This stimulates enough questions in her young mind that when the she is at the jail when the Lynch Mob arrives she effectively saves Tom Robinsons life by unnerving the mob with innocent questions about Walter Cunningham. In her innocent gesture, Scout makes Mr. Cunningham realise that he is a father, not just part of a mob, and, in a sense, he walks around in Atticus skin for a moment. Atticus demonstrates great bravery in defending Tom Robinson. Much of the White community turns against him and even take out their rage on his children.

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Children like Cecil Jacobs and Francis both tease Scout about her father being a nigger lover. Aunt Alexandra feels that Atticus was bringing the family name down. Despite this Atticus does not compromise his morals or allow his children to do so. The children in Maycomb are influenced very much by their relations. This leads to many children picking up what comes from their parents My folks said your daddy was a disgrace an that Nigger oughta hang from the watertank! Absurd actions often interfere with young ones making them act in the same manner.

Bob and Mayella Ewell portray the white trash of Maycomb. Knowing the low esteem associated with the name Ewell they strive to control people and maintain the status of untouchables. The Ewells do not go to school, do not accept charity, and do not recognise African-Americans as real human beings. To accentuate his status Bob Ewell dehumanises the African-American, calling them niggers and treating them like animals. The trial becomes a stage for another one of the Ewells games, a game for the whole town to witness.

The actions of this lead to dyer consequences. The Ewells answer to no one and remain immune to the results of such actions. A different type of prejudice shown in the novel is class prejudice. It is unconsciously shown by Scout as well as a few of her compatriots on her first day at school. They attributed certain qualities to each family in Maycomb and expected these traits to be hereditary. For example the reason which Scout gave as to why Walter refused the quarter which Miss. Fisher offered was because he is a Cunningham and the reason why Burris was so dirty and impudent was, as far as the children were concerned, was because he is one of the Ewells. This shows the complacent way in which class prejudice is treated within Maycomb, in Maycomb it is just taken for granted, no questions asked.

In fact the children, in stating these characteristics of the Cunninghams and the Ewells did not even realise that they were being prejudiced, they had just been brought up that way. Later, when Jem invited Walter to teal Scout criticised his table manners. Calpurnia and Atticus were angry with Scout by saying that Walter was company and could eat whatever he wanted. When Scout retaliated by saying that Walter wad not company that he was just a Cunningham, Calpurnia did not let that serve as an excuse for humiliating him. In this way Calpurnia tried to stop Scout gaining the class prejudice of Maycomb and to treat all people equally.

When Scout innocently wanted to befriend Walter Cunningham, a farmers boy, Aunt Alexandra responded saying Finch women arent interested in that sort of people. Scout vainly protested this bias and could not understand why two people could not be friends, regardless of monetary or scholarly status. Aunt Alexandra is part of the Ladies Missionary Circle, which is a group, which spreads the Christian faith in the community, but in this case they turn out to be the small town gossips. The ladies of the missionary circle speak with compassion for the neglected tribes of Africa while insulting and demeaning the Negroes who work in their homes. The Missionary tea ladies comments about the Blacks is more than evident within the trial, they were part of a large group of people who overlooked all the evidence in favour of Tom Robinson at the trial, just because he was Black. This is very typical of such a group as it is all a group of white people.

Another aspect of Maycomb society is shown through they hypocritical prejudice shown at school. During school, where the teacher is explaining the difference between democracy and dictatorship, the teacher uses the United States as an example, Scout wonders how they can call themselves a democracy when they are still prejudice against Negroes. The irony of Miss. Gates lecture on democracy compared to her comments at the trial is evident. The irony is that US will be changing to make it fair between Black and White in order to become a true democracy.

Scouts teacher plays a game of being a sympathetic southern school teacher. She appears to be the perfect gentle woman, set in tradition and very sympathetic to the less fortunate, such as the Jews in Germany who suffer persecution. She says Persecution comes from those who are prejudiced. Miss. Gates part also includes the confidence in her higher stature, though she sensibly plays the part down.

Many other towns-women also model themselves after; they become role models. They set distinctions that result in the traditions of the town. The Black church in Maycomb, which was a place of worship on Sunday, is described as a gambling house for white men on week days. This again highlights that segregation was not only evident in public buildings but places of worship too. When Calpurnia takes Jem and Scout to her church the Black members of the congregation take their hats of to them in respect.

However Lula has great antagonism towards them. Lula felt that because all the white churches in town were segregated, why should white people be allowed in Black churches. This shows that the hatred between the two races works both ways. Scout finds the church service to be similar to her own except fro a few differences. One of them which shock Jem and Scout greatly is the fact that Helen Robinson, Toms wife is collecting money, and not letting anyone go until enough money has been collected The reason why she is collecting money when she has the ability to work and earn her own money is because as her husband was being charged for a crime like that, no one would employ Helen.

Even Atticus the character intended to have exceptional principles and morals reflects the influences of being raised in the midst of southern traditions. When Calpurnia rides with him to tell of Tom Robinsons death, she rides in the back seat. This she probably does by choice, as she is well aware of the controversy she may create if she was to ride in the front seat with Atticus. Few whites in Maycomb were actually willing to suffer the shame and discrimination by other whites bought by treating a black as an equal. The first sign of prejudice in the novel is shown by the Finch children regarding Boo Radley.

They see him as a type of monster or a malevolent phantom as Scout so aptly put it. People were misunderstood because they were never really given a chance to become known. Boo Radley is a perfect example of one who was misunderstood, as shown by how Jem, Scout and Dill thought hell kill us each and everyone. Boo too, was an outsider he was a man who kept away from society, as he seemed to fear it. Boo was a man who was misunderstood and because of this he suffered injustice.

Boo did not handle the injustice because he did not know about it. Harper Lees novel portrays themes which are as relevant today as they were at the time of its setting. Some children are influenced by society, but the innocence of some children prove vital in areas of the novel. An awful lot about Maycomb Society is learnt through the trial, and experience, which the whole community seems to share. The traits, which the trial reveals about Maycomb Society, are generally evident elsewhere in the book. For example these include racism, prejudice, gender bias, class system, narrow and strict codes of behaviour and gossip.

Throughout the story To kill a Mockingbird, people were placed in symbolic and actual prisons. The important thing is that these people conquered and broke-free from their own imprisonment. The same challenges and follies that were present in the novel are also present in our communities; by reading To kill a mocking bird we can learn from the characters lives and possibly gain insight to our own.

Tom Robinsons Trial And To Kill A Mocking Bird

Tom Robinsons Trial And To Kill A Mocking Bird Harper Lees novel To kill a Mocking bird revolves around Maycomb a typical rural town of the American South. The story is set in the 1930s a period when racism and prejudice are commonly encountered in everyday life. The novel follows the conviction of an apparently innocent Black man sentenced almost entirely due to his race. It is through this mans trail we see how harsh Maycomb society is on minorities. During the trial scenes we learn a lot about peoples views and beliefs on other people and the strict codes by which people have to live.

We learn the most about Maycomb Society through the trial. Town trials were big social events in the 1930s. The trial is described as a Gala occasion and many people acted as if they were attending a Carnival, rather than to see a man on trial for his life. The towns reaction to what is happening tells us a lot about peoples ideology and the general time frame. We learn more about the mutual hatred between African Americans and whites in a legal sense.

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Groups like the Idlers club and the Mennonites enjoyed seeing a Black mans freedom taken away from him. Tom Robinson was found guilty of raping Mayella Ewell, in the face of very strong evidence that his accusers were lying. One reason why he was convicted was because it was a white mans word against a black mans one. Tom, who is black, would be denied justice because of this. Atticus reinforces this idea when he tells Jem in our courts, when its a white mans word against a black mans, the white man always wins.

Generally this was the mentality of most Americans at the time. In Maycomb a white mans word was always taken without any regard as to how trustworthy he was. Another reason why he was convicted was because Tom Robinson went against the accepted position of a Negro by daring to feel sorry for a White person. All these prejudices are a result of people holding onto performed ideas of a certain set of people. It is not just racial prejudice, which is present in Maycomb but the narrow, rigid, intolerant codes of behaviour, which the townspeople wish to impose on others. These prejudice all show the inability of the people to, as Atticus puts it consider things from his point of view and the lack of understanding between them. The courthouse reflects the social division seen in Maycomb.

The courthouse itself is very old fashioned in the way that it is built and its laws. The segregation between Blacks and Whites is emphasised by the way the Blacks file in last and are seated in the balcony. Their kindly politeness to Jem, Dill and Scout is again shown when the children come to sit in the coloured balcony. Four Blacks give up their seats for them. This also implies that White children have precedence over Black adults.

We also can see that the childrens admission to the balcony underlies their lack of prejudice. A prime example of prejudice within the book is shown when the Idlers club find out that Atticus will defend Tom properly. They are disgraced at this. Atticus is an example of someone who is an anchor of reason within Maycomb. He is chosen to defend Tom at trial because Judge Taylor knows that Atticus would give a fair defence. Atticus would fight his hardest to win the case even though he is bound to lose, because this is what Atticus views as the meaning of true courage Simply because we are licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us to try to win.

By saying this Atticus believes that even if this is the hardest case he will use his courage to try his best, since it is morally wrong not to take the case just because there is no chance of winning. Atticus chooses to defend Tom Robinson when no other lawyer would. He was one of the few respectable people not blinded by the racial injustice Tom Robinson faced. Not only did Atticus defend Tom in the courthouse, but he defended him at jail on one occasion too. Atticus beliefs are spoken in his speech on the code of the society.

In this speech he spoke of the strict laws, old traditions and ways of thinking that are still prevalent in Maycomb. Whites were not to communicate or get involved with Blacks. This was a code Mayella Ewell broke by tempting a black man She was white and she tempted a Negro she did something that in our society is unspeakable. The Jury hearing the case is all white this is because of their superiority in society. Atticus hopes that by this justice will not be mocked as it has in the past.

Mayella is viewed as an outsider. Although she is the prosecution in the case, Mayella never set out to intentionally hurt Tom. She was lonely and only wanted affection from Tom, this being thought of as a crime at the time. Mayella did not commit a crime, but in fact broke a moral code of society. Mayella considering tempting a Black man showed that her view on the Negroes was not entirely the same as the rest of Maycomb. However Mayella had been convinced one way or the other that by convicting Tom was the only way to restore the familys lost pride after she broke the moral codes of society. Dolphus Raymond is also viewed, as an outsider who is rejected by Maycomb society; because he is a White man yet prefers to live with Negroes. He has a reputation of being a drunkard, but this is just a pretence.

Mr. Raymond is actually a very sensitive man who loathes society and hates the hell white people give coloured folks, without even stopping to thing that theyre people to. Dolphus, unlike Atticus does not have the courage to admit his preference of Negroes. So, he presents himself as a drinker so people might think he is drunk and excuse him from his action. In Atticus basic summing up he talks about how for once people should look at Tom Robinson as a human rather than as a Negro or a coloured man.

They would say that a man was immoral only because the colour of his skin happened to be a little darker than their own. Atticus openly defies traditional thinking even while under scrutiny of the entire town, particularly in his final courtroom speech. Maycomb citizens believe that Tom Robinson is not, and should not be part of their lives or of their community Atticus, on the other hand finds faults with the towns traditional views. Thinking reasonably and intelligently, he knows he does not want his children to grow up with similar views. He attacks old southern tradition by using the law. He lives by a traditional code in which justice is highly valued. Atticus strongly believes that in our courts all men are created equal.

Atticus knows that if there is one place in which the time-honoured codes of southern society can be broken, it is in a court of law. He discovers, however, that tradition is not easily broken and laws are not easily changed. Nearly everyone in the town has a basic trust for Atticus that he will do what is right, despite the fact they despise his independent thinking. Although the verdict is inevitable it has taken the jury time to reach. By the trial the jurys ways of doing things have been changed.

Miss. Maudie Atkinson points out that usually with this kind of case the verdict would be reached in a minute. But this time it took a long time. As well as this he points out that Judge Taylor appointed Tom the best possible lawyer instead of using an un-experienced Maxwell Green. Miss.

Maudie uses these two things to defend the town and its people in showing a sign of change. She feels that they have made a baby step in the right direction. Maycomb has changed a little bit, but there is still a long way to go before black and white can be equal. Although disappointed and frustrated by the verdict, Jem and Scout both learn valuable lessons. Atticus succeeds in conveying his simple message that when a white man cheats a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, that white man is trash. After the trial, Jem and Scout dont care what people say about their nigger-loving father. It does not matter because he has bestowed upon them a new tradition of thinking.

Jem and Scout do not think in terms of class and race. Scout does not have to think hard to know that she would let Tom Robinson go so quick the Missionary Society wouldnt have time to catch its breath if it was up to her and if Jem had been on the jury Tom would be a free man. Atticus is pleased by his childrens views. Atticus has one wish entering into the trial and that is that Jem and Scout get through it ‘without catching Maycombs usual disease. One of the major themes that this novel presents is the loss of innocence that children were beginning to encounter at a younger age.

During Tom Robinsons trial, Reverend Sykes says this aint fit for Miss. Jean Louise or you boys either, thinking that the description of sexual ha …


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