Many years ago, some men, no, most men, hated Black people. This is a fact that Blacks were forced into getting used to. Daily, Blacks had to face the music that they were hated, they were not wanted, and the reality that most people would rather they be dead. This is exactly how people felt toward Tom Robinson, a Black man who was accused of terrible things just because of Racism; even though he was innocent. Racism in the novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, affects the events in the novel by costing Tom Robinson his freedom and eventually, his life.
It all starts on a normal work day of Tom Robinson’s life. He is walking home along the side of the road and as he passes the Ewell’s home, Miss Mayella Ewell decides to call Tom up to the house to ask him to help with something. After Tom helps her, Mayella reveals why she actually called him to the house. Mayella does this by thrusting herself toward Tom and forcibly kisses him yelling, “Kiss me back Nigger!” ...view middle of the document...
They say to Atticus, “He in there? . . . You know what we want . . . Get aside from the door, Mr. Finch” (Lee 202). Atticus stands up for Tom, and eventually keeps the mob away from him. Tom is extremely thankful for Atticus and decides to now get ready for the trial.
The trial of Tom Robinson is cruel in everything that he has to go through. When Atticus he questions him, he is, what most people would say, very successful in proving Tom innocent. But, when Mr. Ewell’s lawyer, Mr. Gilmer, walks up to the stand, he says to Tom:
Robinson, you’re pretty good at busting up chiffarobes and kindling with one hand, aren’t you? . . . Strong enough to choke the breath out of a woman and sling her to the floor? . . . had your eye on her a long time, hadn’t you boy? (Lee 263)
Eventually, Mr. Gilmer convinces the jury that Tom is guilty and after an hour of discussion, the jury pronounces Tom Robinson guilty of rape. After that, everything changes for Tom. He is sent to prison and sees no way of being released, ever. So, when Tom has the chance, he takes it, and he tries to escape prison. As he is three feet from freedom once again, the guards take notice and shoot him multiple times killing Tom Robinson.
Right from the very beginning, with Tom being accused of rape, everyone believed the Ewells immediately. This is because of a small word named Racism. Almost the entire town of Maycomb hated Tom Robinson. He was an innocent man. During the trial, there was no proof of him being guilty and the people of Maycomb knew it too. They just did not want to admit that a Black was innocent over a White. This pride of the people of Maycomb ended up costing Tom his whole life. That seems to have been the case for most people back then. It took years for just one Black man to win over a white person in a trial because they were so racist against Blacks that they would rather let a Black man die than tell the truth. Now, as the years have gone by, we look back at these kinds of stories and we notice some of our mistakes. Racism has been depleted so far over the last seventy years that we have finally gotten to a time period where our courts are much closer to having true justice equally for everyone.
Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird. New York: NY. 2010. Print.