Harper Lee’s Examples of Racism

Many people are victims of different things because of the color of their skin. In this case, Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”, gives many examples of racism during Tom Robinson’s trial. The racism that occured during this time, especially in Alabama is unreal. Tom is not going to get a fair trial. Atticus knows from the start that Tom will not be treated equally. Tom is not judged by a jury of his peers because there are no black people on the jury. Therefore, he will most likely be announced guilty.

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Tom was on trial for the accusations of rape from a young white woman named Mayella Ewell. Due to his skin color, everyone automatically thought Tom was guilty, even though he was not. He was a honest, loyal friend and would do any task she would ask of him. Mr. Gilmer questioned his genuineness on trial. “Yes, suh. I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more’n the rest of ‘em-” (Lee 224). Mayella manipulated his kindness and accused him of committing a crime Tom would never.

If you look at the text and analyze it clearly, there is no way Tom could have physically commited the crime. In my findings, this quote discloses Tom’s accident with his left arm being cut off, ”Reverend Skyes leaned across me and whispered to Jem. ‘He got it caught in a cotton gin,’” (Lee 211). While Mr. Tate was on the stand, he kept changing his story (Lee 192). “Oh yes, that’d make it her right. It was her right eye, Mr. Finch. I remember now, she was bunged up on that side of her face….” This was his final answer. This supports the claim that Tom could not have physically been guilty, because of the evidence shown in the text.

Tom’s relationship with Mayella’s father Bob Ewell, was not a positive factor in the accusations that were made while on trial. There is textual evidence that Bob was guilty of beating Mayella, and forced her to claim it was Tom. Because Tom was a black man, the jury had a hard time believing Tom’s word over Bob’s, “ ‘ruttin’ on my mayella,’”( Lee ) as he told the jury. Tom’s truthful reply about leaving when Bob came home “‘ if you was a n****r like me, you’d be scared, too’” (Lee ) seemed more reliable than Mayella’s father’s story. Though, mayella already revealed she fears her father when he’s drunk.

In conclusion, most people’s viewpoint on Tom Robinson has a lot to do with the color of his

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Harper Lee’s Examples Of Racism. (2022, Apr 11). Retrieved May 18, 2022 , from

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