How Does Harper Lee Show Unfair And Cruel Treatments Of Tom Robinson?

1026 words - 5 pages

To Kill A Mockingbird depicts the daily occurrences in Maycomb County, an Alabama town in Southern USA. The story is set in the 1930s, when the people are mostly poor as a result of The Great Depression. Set in a time before the implementation of racial and sexual equality, the story provides insight on the mentality of the county people and their discriminative practices, which are aggravated by their difficult financial situation.

Maycomb County is a white peoples town; the black community live on the outskirts of the town. Racism is so rampant that people do not even realise it happening. The blacks are deprived basic rights; they are not allowed proper jobs and are separated from the ...view middle of the document...

Atticus is a well-respected lawyer and the father of main characters Scout and Jem. Judge Taylor chooses Atticus instead of Maxwell Green – who was supposed to defend Tom – because he knows that Atticus will treat Tom fairly. This shows how Judge Taylor wants to maintain Tom Robinson’s rights. With his every will and resource, Atticus attempts to provide Tom with the most just form of defence, meriting his honest and non-discriminating behaviour. He does this while he is aware of the opposition and downgrading he will face.

Word of the “rape” soon spread out, and the people of Maycomb County are out for “justice”. Mr Cunningham, a man under the legal aids of Atticus, leads a furious mob with the intention to lynch Tom Robinson for his alleged crime, without even considering his innocence. This is does not only indicate the unfairness of the social system - because a white man being accused of the same crime would not face such torment – but is also cruel as the idea involves torture and death. The men never end up lynching Tom, but his nightmares are not over.

As Tom is brought to trial, it is obvious from the start that he has no hopes in winning. Being in the presence of an all-white-male jury, it is clear that they have already convicted him purely because of his race, proving the unfairness of the judicial system. Segregation between the two races is clearly seen in the courtroom; the black attendees are placed on the court balcony – away from the whites that sit comfortably in the superior courtroom.

On the witness stand, Tom Robinson admits to have been in the Ewell’s residential premise, but declares that his presence was merely to assist Mayella with her house chores. He tells the jury that he has done chores for her many times before, and has without payment out of his sympathy towards her. Tom testifies that on the night of the apparent rape, Mayella tried to seduce him. He explains that he...

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