Effects Of The Trial In To Kill A Mockingbird

Good Essays
“Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird” (Lee 119). To Kill a Mockingbird is considered a classic novel of modern American literature due to its’ content. In To Kill a Mockingbird there is a trial, of which Tom Robinson, a black man, is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell, that takes place in Maycomb. Many people react differently to this trial. The reactions consist of harsh words towards Atticus, who is Scout’s father and the lawyer defending Tom Robinson, snarky remarks from her family members, dangerous threats from the Ewells, and racist remarks from other students at Scout’s school. The people involved in the trial and public reactions to the trial impact Scout heavily. This causes everything that Scout thinks she knows …show more content…
Although there is never an interaction between Scout and Tom Robinson, Scout still manages to learn important lessons about life from his trial. Tom Robinson is a black man who is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell. At the time that To Kill A Mockingbird takes place, it isn’t out of the ordinary to see a black man being accused of something and being found guilty despite the evidence proving otherwise. Scout is unaware of this and goes into Tom Robinson’s trial unaware of the events likely to come. It becomes obvious to Scout that Tom is a kind, innocent man and should be found innocent when it is pointed out by Atticus that whoever raped Mayella Ewell was left handed and Tom’s left arm is “a fully twelve inches shorter than his right, and hung dead at his side” (Lee 248), signifying that his left arm is of no use and he could not have committed the crime. The surprise of Tom Robinson being found guilty brings on numerous realizations to Scout such as learning that people won’t always do what is right. It isn’t until she notices her family’s negative reaction that she truly realizes the trial was unjust. Seeing an obviously innocent man be convicted of a crime he did not commit causes Scout to learn how unfair and cruel the world can …show more content…
Much like Tom Robinson, Scout doesn’t interact much with the Ewells other than when Bob Ewell attacks her and Jem at the end of To Kill A Mockingbird. Despite the lack of interactions between Scout and the Ewells, the Ewells impact Scout’s view of the world heavily. Scout is familiar with the Ewell family from the beginning of the book. While she already has a negative view of the Ewells it isn’t until the trial that she truly sees what type of people they are. During the trial Scout determines that Bob may have beaten Mayella himself and is lying about Tom Robinson. Mayella 's injuries all appear to be on the right side of her face. Atticus illustrates that Bob Ewell is left handed, showing that it is possible that Bob Ewell committed the crime. It is confusing to Scout to see that the Ewells could do something so awful to Tom Robinson with no remorse. There is moment when Scout sees that they have no remorse when Mayella is leaving the stand and Scout says she “...never saw anybody glare at anyone with the hatred Mayella showed [towards Tom Robinson] when she left the stand” (Lee 252). By seeing that the Ewells are using their privilege to take advantage of Tom Robinson for the their own benefit by lying, Scout is shown for the first time how evil people can be. While Atticus can tell her that the world has bad parts, and the unfair treatment of Tom Robinson shows her how unfair people can be

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