Tom Robinson Racism

1045 Words 5 Pages
Maycomb County, the setting of To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, has a deeply ingrained culture of racism over reason. Tom Robinson’s death was unjust, yet few mourned and the eventual death did not shock anyone. The reason for this tragedy is that Tom was too confident that people would show good morals when faced with a complicated decision. He made a series of poor choices that placed him in a difficult situation that even the best lawyer could not get him out of. Although Tom was framed, it was his own mistakes that enabled Bob Ewell to prosecute him in the first place. He did not anticipate the extreme level of racism he would face at court, rather, he believed that he would receive an unbiased trial, which most certainly did not occur. …show more content…
Tom was too naive to recognize the ferocity with which the personified “Maycomb” and its residents hated black people. This racism and hate became apparent when Tom’s death became Maycomb’s primary gossip material. The narrator describes the chatter she hears in the days following the shooting at the jail: “To Maycomb, Tom’s death was Typical. Typical of a n***** to cut and run. Typical of a n*****’s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw.” (275). Even when trying to acknowledge Tom Robinson’s death, the town of Maycomb collectively insults him and the entire African-American community by generalizing Tom’s actions at the jail. Tom Robinson also overlooked the Ewells’ reputation as bottom-feeders and consequently became perfect fodder for Bob Ewell’s hunger for a scapegoat to blame his own domestic abuse on. When Tom Robinson was alone in a room with a white woman, he was putting himself in a very vulnerable position that Bob Ewell took advantage of by framing him as a rapist as a means of unburdening himself. Tom found himself in a fatal predicament because he was not aware of the Ewells’ reputation, and he assumed that they were honest people. The power of these unwritten rules is also evident when Tom’s widow, Helen, was heckled on her way to work at Link Deas’ shop. “ … [Helen] had to walk nearly a mile out of her way to avoid the Ewells, who, …show more content…
Since Tom Robinson did not believe that there was great evil in people, he followed his morals and expected that the society of Maycomb would be appreciative. After he realized the consequences for this way of life, Tom further soured the situation by trusting his neighbors to make a righteous decision regarding his life. Even though Bob Ewell and Atticus Finch may have been directly influential on the legal verdict, Tom was ultimately the one who got himself into an unfavorable position and suffered fatal consequences. Owing to his naive faith in humanity, Tom Robinson found his way to an early

Related Documents