Tom Robinsons Trial And To Kill A

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Tom Robinson?s Trial And To Kill A Mocking Bird Essay, Research Paper Harper Lee?s 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 man?s trail we see how harsh Maycomb society is on minorities. During the trial scenes we learn a lot about people?s 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 town?s reaction to what is happening tells us a lot about people?s ideology and the general time frame. We learn more about the mutual hatred between African Americans and ?whites? in a legal sense. Groups like the ?Idler?s club? and the Mennonites enjoyed seeing a Black man?s 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 man?s word against a black man?s one. Tom, who is black, would be denied justice because of this. Atticus reinforces this idea when he tells Jem ?in our courts, when it?s a white man?s word against

a black man?s, the white man always wins.? Generally this was the mentality of most Americans at the time. In Maycomb a white man?s 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 children?s admission to the balcony underlies their lack of prejudice. A prime example of prejudice within the book is shown when the Idler?s 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