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Prejudice In To Kill A Mockingbird

784 words - 4 pages

Prejudice in To Kill A Mockingbird

Prejudice is a strong word. In the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, a black man, Tom Robinson, was accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell, and was brought to trial. There were distinct views concerning Tom Robinson's innocence – views influenced by prejudice. The townspeople of Maycomb believed in Tom's guilt while Atticus and the children believed in Tom's innocence.

The townspeople, from day one, knew what the verdict was going to be even though some of them knew deep down that Tom did not rape Mayella. "The older citizens, the present generation of people who had lived side by side for years and years, were utterly predictable to ...view middle of the document...

The victim, Mayella, had been beaten, but not by Tom. Tom Robinson would still be convicted because of the all-white jury. Tom didn't help by saying, "Yes suh. I felt sorry for her, she seemed to try more'n the rest of 'em--" (Lee page #). After all, black people were not supposed to care about white people. It would have been impossible for Tom to do to Mayella what she said he did: "Tom Robinson's powerful shoulders rippled with his right hand on the back of his chair. He looked oddly off balance, but it was not from the way he was standing. His left arm was fully twelve inches shorter than his right, and hung dead at his side. It ended in a small shriveled hand, and from as far away as the balcony I could see that is was no use to him" (Lee page #). It would have been obvious to any impartial jury considering the evidence that Tom Robinson couldn't have committed the crime, but still racism decided the verdict.

The children, just as much as Atticus, believed in Tom's innocence. Just by looking at Tom, they knew he couldn't have done it " ‘Scout,’ breathed Jem. ‘Scout, look! Reverend, he's crippled‘ ” (Lee page #). Jem and Scout had been...

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