Power In To Kill A Mockingbird

1125 Words 5 Pages
Power is defined as the ability to control an aspect of a person’s life. In the second half of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the question of who holds more power over the other is answered. The two people involved in the trial are a poor white woman named Mayella Ewell and a black man of equal class called Tom Robinson. In the trial, Mayella accuses Tom of both raping and savagely beating of her. This claim is entirely false, but still, as the trial goes on, it is clear that Tom does not stand a chance of winning against her because Mayella has more favorable characteristics than he does. By aspects of character such as gender and race- Mayella is more powerful than Tom. She utilizes these traits and is easily able to sway the judges …show more content…
Of course, in the eyes of the white loving community of Maycomb, what chance would a negro have of proving himself innocent? It was clear to everyone, including Atticus, the man who served as Tom’s lawyer during the trial, that no matter how good the case, Tom Robinson could not win because of how powerful simply being white was during this time and how powerless it made a black man like him against Mayella. Further expressing how helpless being African-American made Tom is a quote by one of the characters in the novel: “I ain’t seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man” (Doc D). Tom’s lawyer Atticus even explained to the jury during his closing statement what would come of their deliberation: “-you gentlemen would go along with them on the assumption- the evil assumption- that all Negroes lie, that all Negroes are basically immoral beings, that all Negro men are not to be trusted around our women…” (Doc D). Atticus was right in the end. All in all, the jury’s deliberation boiled down to one key factor; Mayella is white. Because of her race, Mayella had the power to silently convince the judges that she was the one deserving of victory in the courtroom during that trial. Tom was lucky that his lawyer was even able to get the judges to see things from his perspective for as long as he did, because they were never meant to in the first place. The case was a no-brainer to most everyone in the book at that point because it was a trial between a black person and a white person. Race made this case hopeless from the start, and Tom was fortunate that he was able to even get the jury to think about his situation rather than immediately finding him

Related Documents