Dill's Innocence

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In the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, Jem, Scout, and Dill’s innocence is destroyed. They lose their carefree and happy existence through the ignorance and racism in their hometown of Maycomb. Initially, the children believe everyone in Maycomb is friendly. They do not understand the racism occurring in their town until Tom Robinson’s trial. After observing the Tom Robinson trial, the children’s view of some of the citizens in their town change because of the hatred against blacks and the obvious injustice in the courtroom. Robinson is a black man convicted of raping a white girl and despite the evidences being on Robinson’s side, he is found guilty and is sentenced to prison. The trial causes Scout, Jem, and Dill to witness discrimination,…show more content…
During the trial, Dill is distraught by the way Mr. Gilmer, the prosecutor, speaks to Tom. Dill does not think anyone has the business to talk that way and “that old Mr. Gilmer doin’ him thataway, talking so hateful to him,” (265) made him sick. Mr. Gilmer interrogates questions like “Are you being impudent to me, boy,” (264) and acts toward Tom as if he is an untamed animal being trained and not a full-grown adult. Although Tom Robinson is treated harshly, Jem believes Atticus, the defendant lawyer and their father, has won the case because of the strong evidences presented and the fact that Tom is innocent (279). When the jury pronounce Tom guilty, Jem is exasperated and “his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulder jerked as if each ‘guilty’ was a separate stab between them,” (282). Even though “rape is capital offense in Alabama,” (293) meaning the prosecuted will be sentenced to death, the children could not believe the jury has sentenced a guiltless man to death. According to Atticus, it is a sad truth that an accused African-American has never won a court case and “when it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins,” (295). Although it is a sad truth, Atticus believes…show more content…
They interact with the black citizens at Calpurnia’s church and enjoy the new experience of singing ‘linin’. The children, especially Scout, also want to visit Calpurnia at her home. Unfortunately, not everyone, such as Aunt Alexandria, approve of the white children associating with black people. When the court case takes place, Scout, Jem and Dill notice more discrimination between the black and white race. The children see how harshly Mr. Gilmer, the prosecutor, treats a black man like Tom Robinson. The children become aware of the cruelty of racism when an innocent black man is found guilty of assaulting a white woman. Broken and in shock, Jem, Scout, and Dill try to forget the incident because they are unhappy with the result of the trial. The children try to let time pass and move on but are unable to forget some of the immoral reasons behind it, which is the racial discrimination against the blacks and the unjustifiable prosecution of a guiltless
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