To Kill A Mockingbird Essay-Evidence That Tom Robinson Is An Innocent Man Essay, Research Paper
Throughout history, racism has played a major role in social relations. In Harper Lee s novel, To Kill A Mockingbird, this theme is presented to the reader and displays the shallowness of white people in the south during the depression. The assumption that Blacks were inferior is proved during the trial of Tom Robinson. Such characteristics served to justify the verdict of the trial. In this trial, Tom Robinson is accused of raping Mayella Ewell and is found guilty. Many examples from this novel support the fact that Tom Robinson was in fact innocent.
Atticus Finch represented Tom Robinson in the trial. He showed that Tom s left arm was crippled due to a former injury using a cotton gin. Atticus expanded on this point by unexpectedly throwing a ball at Tom Robinson. Tom s only reaction was to catch the ball with his right arm. This point is connected to Heck Tate s testimony in telling the court that the right side of Mayella s face had been severely bruised. A left-handed person would logically have inflicted this injury. Tom s left hand is shriveled and totally useless. On the other side of the coin, Atticus shows the court that Mr. Ewell is not ambidextrous but is only right-handed.
A second testimony that supports the opposite of the verdict, was the fact that Mr. Ewell never called a doctor after learning of Mayella s injuries. Following the incident, there had not been any physical examination performed by a certified physician. If indeed Mr. Robinson had committed the crime, Mr. Ewell s first instinct would have been to get his daughter checked out. Upon finding his daughter assaulted , he would have wanted to have her injuries treated including the injury that might been caused by rape.
The third example of the trial that strongly contrasts with the outcome of the verdict was Mayella s testimony. If Mayella was so sure that Tom Robinson was the one that assaulted her, her testimony would have been clearly stated. Instead, during the trial, Mayella seemed to be unsure of herself at times and hesitated when thinking about certain answers. When Atticus asked Mayella if she remembered the person beating her face, she first answers that she does not recollect if the person hit her. Under her next breath, she says the man did in fact hit her. Once Atticus challenges this statement she gets flustered and continues to use the excuse that she does not remember. Along with the hesitation during her testimony, Mayella panicked at the conclusion of the cross- examination. When Mr. Finch asked her for the second time, who injured her, there was no immediate response from the witness. Instead, she shows her dishonesty by claiming that Tom Robinson was the man who raped her without giving specifics of the incident.
As you can see, there was only one victim in this trial. Although Tom Robinson is clearly innocent, he is trapped by the racism of his generation. In spite of the truth, Mayella s word is more important then a hard-working black man whose one arm is withered, simply because she is white and he is black. It was clearly shown that Tom Robinson was physically incapable of performing this horrendous crime. If Tom Robinson did commit the crime, then Mr. Ewell should have called a doctor. Mr. Tom Robinson was an honorable person whose only crime was feeling sorry for a lonely white woman. Tom Robinson was clearly innocent!