How does Harper Lee Manage to Draw Together the Stories of Boo Radley
and Tom Robinson? Do you find her Way of doing this Effective?
There is a strong literary motif running through Harper Lee's novel
'To Kill a Mockingbird'. The stories of Boo Radley and Tom Robinson
are drawn together by the way they are both mockingbirds in their own
way. Both men are on the outskirts of society and are misunderstood by
the predominantly white population of Maycomb. In the first part of
the novel, there is a very important quote used:
"Shoot all the Bluejays you want if you can hit 'em, but remember it's
a sin to kill a mockingbird."
'To Kill a Mockingbird' is a novel about a young girl named Jean
Louise Finch or Scout growing up in a very prejudiced American town in
the 1930's. Her life is fairly normal until her father, a lawyer named
Atticus, is asked to defend a black man charged with the rape of a
white girl, Mayella Ewell. Atticus knows there is no chance he can win
because his defendant, Tom Robinson is black and therefore guilty but
as Atticus said himself:
"Just because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no
reason for us not to try to win."
The jury persecutes Tom Robinson in his trial. It would have been
impossible for him to abuse Mayella because he cannot use his left
arm. Mr Heck-Tate said that she had a black right eye, suggesting her
attacker was left-handed. Her father, Bob Ewell, was, suggesting that
he beat her up. Because Tom couldn't punch Mayella with his left fist,
it couldn't have been him. Tom Robinson is an admirable character and
very brave. He showed these qualities in the trial by speaking his
mind and saying the truth, but this still was not enough to sway the
jury into returning the right verdict of Not Guilty. One of the worst
examples of prejudice came in the trial. Nobody liked Tom Robinson's
answer when he admits he felt sorry for Mayella, showing how much
racism and prejudice there was between the people of Maycomb. Black
people were not allowed to feel sorry for white people. It was as if
Tom was found guilty in order to teach him where his place in society
was. The jury was more sympathetic towards Mayella because she was
white. Tom Robinson went against the 'acceptable' behaviour of a Negro
and dared to feel sorry for a white person. I think that it was ironic
that the only thing that stopped Tom from escaping from prison was the
one thing that proved he wasn't guilty, his useless left arm.
The children develop a fascination with a reclusive man who lives at
the bottom of their road. Arthur Radley, or Boo as the children call
him is seen as a figure of mystery and fear in the eyes of Scout and
Jem. Boo was locked in the house by his father for 'resisting arrest'
and for 'stealing a vehicle'. Boo is a monster in the minds of the
children. The children learn that when he was thirty-three years he
'calmly stabbed his father in the leg with a pair of...