What Is The Difference Between Emmett Till And To Kill A Mockingbird

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In Harper Lee’s Southern Gothic fiction novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, Lee demonstrates how society discriminates and harms certain, innocent people just as in the past, individuals confined and mistreated mockingbirds. Lee’s black, fictional character, Tom Robinson, a handicapped yet hardworking Christian man, represents one of many mockingbirds in her novel. While Lee composes her book, the similar, true story of Emmett Till, a fourteen year old, fun-loving, black boy who travels to Mississippi, unravels in the nation around Lee. Lee draws inspiration from Emmett Till’s circumstances to develop her character, Tom Robinson, through similar accusations, handicaps, and punishments in order to educate her readers about the blinding effects of …show more content…
Although these two disabilities may differ in severity, they do alter the way that Tom Robinson and Emmett Till affect the two white females. When Atticus, Tom Robinson’s attorney, asks Robinson to go to the witness stand, the audience is reminded that his “left arm [is] fully twelve inches shorter than his right, and [hangs] dead at his side” (Lee 248). Considering that Mayella Ewell accuses Robinson of raping her and taking advantage of her, there would be much difficulty considering that he only has one arm. Also, Ewell claims that Robinson hit her in her left eye. Robinson could not possibly do that quickly enough to where Ewell would not have noticed since he only has a right arm. He would have to move his arm a great length in order to do damage to the eye that is diagonal from his right arm. Correspondingly, Emmett Till “[has] a stutter that resulted from a bout with nonparalytic polio…” (“Emmett Till”). When Till was diagnosed with polio, he had the effect of stuttering, a speech defect. He occasionally whistled while attempting to properly enunciate words. When Till was accused of whistling at Bryant, he was most likely stuttering or trying to pronounce a word or phrase, and she mistook it as inappropriate behavior. Carolyn Bryant did not know that Emmett Till possessed such speech defect. Lee shows that even though some individuals possess a handicap, others will …show more content…
Although the white women were bothered in some way by the behaviors of Robinson and Till, the two blacks were inordinately punished for their actions. After Robinson is said to be guilty in his trial against Ewell by everyone in the all-white jury, he was placed in prison. Soon after being locked away in prison, Atticus receives news that the guards at the prison shot him; there were “[seventeen] bullet holes in him” (Lee 315). The guards at the prison claim that Robinson was running toward the fence and began to climb it. They then claim that they called out to him, but he did not stop climbing over the fence. Considering that Robinson has only one arm, it is nearly physically impossible for him to climb over a prison fence, which is most likely too high for even a man with two arms the climb. Similarly, the guards of the prison would most likely notice that he is running toward the fence and be there in time for them to stop him before he reached high on the fence. Since Robinson’s case was to be looked over once more, the guards thought that killing him would be the best way to get rid of him so that a white man, Bob Ewell, would stay out of prison. Even though Bob Ewell, a very poor and usually drunk man, is among one of the most hated individuals in Maycomb County, he is still more valued than the

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