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How Does the Writer Use the Trial of Tom Robinson to Bring Out the Themes and Issues in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?

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Introduction

How Does the Writer Use the Trial of Tom Robinson to Bring Out the Themes and Issues in This Book? During Tom Robinson's trial, many themes such as education and life lessons, growing up and innocence, prejudice and racism and courage are brought out. The theme of education and life lessons is very important as the book revolves around Scout and Jem, and how they grow and mature over the course of the book. Throughout the period of the trial Jem and Scout learn a lot and their understanding of the situation in Maycomb develops. We can see Jem?s maturity from the phrase, ?Mister-Jem,? because as you age you receive a higher status. Jem?s maturity continues to be shown with the line, ?In addition to Jem?s newly developed characteristics, he had acquired a maddening air of wisdom,? we can observe that Jem is becoming a new person. This is also suggested through the phrase, ?Oh, go on and leave me alone. I?m readin? the paper.? He doesn?t spend much time with Scout anymore and is acting like a man, like Atticus. Furthermore, he makes logical contradictions to Aunt Alexandra?s beliefs about social standings, for example when Aunt Alexandra thinks that staying on a piece of land for a long time earned a family respect, Jem replies that this makes the Ewells respectable and that is stupid. Scout matures immensely throughout the trial scene and her understanding of situations improves. The quote, ?which was a lie, she has but one must lie under certain circumstances and at all times when one can?t do anything about them,? suggests that she knows to accept it and she learns to not throw a tantrum. ...read more.

Middle

there is a lot of poverty and this is all shown by the quote, ?She was talking like the rest of them,? was said by Scout who is a child showing that even the children can recognise this clear division between the black and white people and also the effort it took to collect $10 for Helen. Although the Finch family is also poor materialistically, they are rich morally and therefore they are better off than the Negroes. In the eyes of the white people the trial, ?Was like a Saturday,? and was, ?A gala occasion,? suggesting that they saw it as a big exciting event which had a convivial and joyful atmosphere. The black people treated it as a serious occasion. This difference in approach to the situation shows the difference in attitude between the black and white people. This really portrays the difference in racial status. Furthermore, we see more racial boundaries, ?They waited patiently at the doors behind the white families,? the black people know their status is under the white people and this shows there are patient and accepting about it. The black people are very aware of the fact that they are disrespected. Tom Robison says, ?Mr Finch, if you were a nigger like me, you?d be scared too,? and he is emphasising how hard it is to be a black person in this situation and he knows there was little chance of success. The fact that he calls himself a nigger shows how society?s prejudice corrupts his own view of himself. During the trial, the Ewells had an unfair advantage. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows a great deal of courage, being another main theme of this book. Atticus believes in Tom?s innocence and will do anything to win the case. The phrase, ?And you know what the truth is,? shows that Atticus is standing his ground and he believes that the truth is the most important thing. He goes against what the community thinks and defends a black. This takes courage and a vast amount of confidence. Atticus? courage is noticed among everyone. The line, ?Yeah, but Atticus aims to defend him,? shows that even though he was appointed to defend Tom Robinson he will do anything to effectively defend him. He takes on this case with open arms ignoring the comments from the community. Atticus wants and chooses to defend him because he believes in Tom?s innocence. This line is again repeated, ?Atticus aimed to defend him,? which emphasises this point. At the end of the trial, Atticus makes a long and thought-provoking speech to the jury, emphasising that race should not matter in their verdict. Throughout this novel we can see the changes in behaviour and attitude from Jem and Scout. Jem is a very good superior model for Scout as he plays a similar role to a father in her life. Scout attitude maturity vastly as she empathises with Atticus and she looks after and cares for him. I think the main theme of this book is prejudice, mainly racial prejudice against the black people. The black people receive no respect but it is inspiring to see them dealing with their situation. Atticus Finch is a very inspirational character. He believed in Tom?s innocence and fought for his innocence in court. He risked his reputation which takes moral courage. ...read more.

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