In Lee’s book, it is shown through the innocence of a child that Tom Robinson is not guilty, and that the jury convicted him for no reason other than their own prejudiced values and pressure from other prejudiced townspeople. After the outcome of the trial a young boy named Jem questions “How could they, how could they do it?” and his father answers. “I don't know but they did, they’ve done it before tonight, and they will probably do it again.”(Lee 215).
To illustrate, “Tom Robinson is a colored man, Jem. No jury in the world is going to say, ’We think you are guilty, but not very,’ on a charge like that.” (Lee, 251). This quote shows how little faith Atticus had in Tom’s freedom. He knew that he would not win Tom’s trial, no matter how hard he tried, because no jury in 1930s Alabama would take the word of a black man over that of a white man, no matter how much evidence there was to prove the black man’s innocence.
Alissa Grisler 6/4/14 English Period 6 Mr. Mahan Loss of Innocence in To Kill A Mockingbird Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird, provides a coming-of-age story in which Scout and Jem Finch experience a loss of innocence as they grow up in the deeply prejudiced Southern Alabama. This loss of innocence stems from their exposure to discrimination, their increasing knowledge of justice versus corruption, and their awareness of social stratification. Throughout the story, their father, Atticus, serves as their guide and rigid advocate for morality. Harper Lee shows racism in Maycomb through dialogue and character’s actions. In To Kill A Mockingbird, Scout and Jem are robbed of their childlike innocence during the trial of Tom Robinson, a black
Despite the dangers of having such ideas during a volatile time period, Harper Lee decided to add a character like Atticus Finch and even portrayed characters against this idea with statements such as “Not only a Finch waiting on tables but one in the courthouse lawing for niggers! Your father’s no better than the niggers and trash he works for!”(Lee 135) Another tactic for talking about racism without preaching ideals was the trial of Tom Robinson, especially its results, “A jury never looks at a defendant it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson.” (Lee 282) Throughout the trial, the readers learn about Tom Robinson’s
Though many people think that emotion helps make rational resolutions, often times it hurts one’s ability to do so. In To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Scout, the protagonist, and her family discover the need for logic when her father takes an important court case. Sadly, most of the people of Maycomb in the 1930s became corrupt because they do not use rationality in their lives. Throughout the novel, Scout and the reader both learn that one should not let their emotions rule their reason when making decisions. Even before the court case began, Scout learns about the recurring theme of logic being more effective than her feelings when forming opinions of others and in communicating.
To Kill a Mockingbird is famous for its controversy. In fact, it has been banned from being read at many schools for its use of racial, sexual, and political content, all of these aiding the book’s “big ideas”. To Kill a Mockingbird has many themes. For example, one is about racial injustice. You would think a jury would establish their final decision based upon the facts, but in this book, the jury had already made up its mind once it heard that the case was a white man versus a black man.
Before Jem knew the degree of how much everyone discriminated black people, he thought that Atticus was going to win the case. He even says, “Don’t fret, Reverend, we’ve won it,” (Lee, 1960, p. 212). After Tom Robinson is ruled guilty on the case, a crying Jem asks, “How could they do it, how could they?” (Lee, 1960, p. 216). The first quote shows that Jem thinks that Atticus clearly has more compelling evidence and doesn’t take into account that Tom Robinson is black and because of that, he’s going to lose the court case.
After hours of waiting, the jury came back in. Scout explains how “A jury never looks at the defendant if it has convicted, and when this jury came in, not one of them looked at Tom Robinson… Judge Taylor was polling the jury; ‘ Guilty...Guilty...Guilty’”(211) When Scout and Jem hear the verdict, they are distraught. As they were walking home, “It was Jem’s turn to cry.. ‘It’s not right, Atticus’”(212)
At this point, Jem’s mind remains set that Tom Robinson will not be convicted. However, the judge’s perspective towards colored people lies inevident enough to ensure that Tom will not be pleaded guilty. When Reverend Sykes, the reverend of the First Purchase African American Church, informed Jem of the misfortune all black men encounter in trial, Jem “took an exception to Reverend Sykes” (279). After Tom Robinson’s trial, Jem became furious and confused at the prejudice against Tom. Jem believed that Tom would be proven innocent, because of Atticus’ in-depth argument against Mayella Ewell, the daughter of a white family of the lowest ranks, but Jem eventually faces the undenying truth.
In our society, innocent people, known as mockingbirds, experience prejudice in their lives. A/T: In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Background: Tom Robinson is a black person who’s was accused of raping a white girl named Mayella Ewell which he has never done. For this reason, Atticus Finch was appointed to be his lawyer. As a result, Atticus takes a stand for him by approving his case and standing up for him, but Tom was still found guilty.
The theme of injustice shows itself many times throughout To Kill A Mockingbird, as shown by Mr. Ewell’s actions towards the Finches, Tom Robinson’s unjust and false trial and in Aunt Alexandra’s actions towards Calpurnia. Injustice makes its first appearance in Mr. Ewell’s actions towards the Finches. He shows this especially on two occasions, when he spits in Atticus’s face and mocks him and when he attacks Jem and Scout on their way home on Halloween. When Atticus left the post office Mr. Ewell approached him, cursed, spat on him and threatened to kill him. After his encounter with Mr. Ewell, Atticus simply says, “I wish Bob Ewell wouldn’t chew tobacco,” (249).
In chapters 17-24 in To Kill A Mockingbird, Jem and Scout observe their father in court defending Tom Robinson (a black man) from the accusations of the Bob Ewell (a "low grade ' ' white man). Bob Ewell accuses Tom Robinson of sexually assaulting his daughter; Mayella Ewell. Before the fate of Tom Robinson is given in the possession of the jury, both lawyers have a final attempt at convincing the jury that Tom Robinson should/shouldn 't be prosecuted. Atticus starts off his closing remarks with the fact that he believes that the case should have never come to trial and that the case "”is as simple as black and white."
To Kill a Mockingbird is a book mainly about the coexistence of good and evil. The book stresses and emphasizes on the exploration of moral nature in humans. There are many themes in this novel including courage, innocence, racism, femininity, etc. However the most prevalent theme in the book is innocence. Not just innocence in itself but the danger and harm evil poses to the innocent.
In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee teaches her readers that sometimes it can difficult to believe or understand the evil in the world. In the book, Harper describes how difficult it can be to believe the evil in the world because it’s like a sickness: you can’t tell who’s sick, unless they show you signs of their symptoms. In the book, Atticus always looked at good in everyone, no matter what color they were or class. He never liked when people took advantage of others, or when their own kids, Scout and Jem discriminated others or used racist slang.