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How does Tom's trial reveal Maycomb's true nature?

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How does Tom's trial reveal Maycomb's true nature? Through the trial we see how divided, prejudice and hypocritical the town really is. Maycomb is a small boring town where nothing out of the ordinary occurs. The trial is exciting for the town's people and reveals the community's true identity. The first time the reader becomes aware of the trial is at chapter nine, through the children being taunted by Cecil Jacobs at school, Francis (their cousin) at home and Mrs Dubose who denounces Atticus as a ' nigger lover.' This all takes place before Tom's trial has begun and his alleged crime has been revealed. This shows parts of racism within Maycomb. The fact that because Atticus is doing his job and defending a black man he is classed as a 'nigger lover' and his children are tormented. However, even though these events happen Atticus continuously tells Jem and Scout to "step into their shoes" and 'it's not time to worry yet.' ...read more.


The trial reveals the town's true racism. In the courtroom the blacks are separated from the whites. This is shown in the quote, ' The Negroes, having waited for the white people to go upstairs, begun to go in... the coloured balcony ran along three walls of the courtroom.' This is because the black people of Maycomb are considered inferior to the whites. This suggest that Tom Robinson will receive unfair treatment throughout his trial due to him being accused of raping a white girl he is guilty before being trialed. The jury is formed of all white male farmers. This is shown in the quote, ' Sun-burned, lanky, they seemed to be all farmers, but this was natural.' Being farmers suggests that they are uneducated, and them all being white is another factor that proves unfairness in the trial. Heck Tate is the first person to give a testimony. ...read more.


This is blatant racism and is allowed in the court without any objection. Harper Lee makes it clear to the reader that Mr Ewell's testimony is a well rehearsed tale. It says ' He'd say it again and again.' This suggests deceit. Atticus makes the point that Mr Ewell could have beaten Mayella. This is due to the fact that ' her right eye was blacked and she was beaten mostly on the right side of the face, it would tend to show that a left-handed person did it.' and as Tom Robinson's left hand is disabled it couldn't have been him. '... ran his finger under his hand and lifted it ... raised his right hand, the useless one slipped off the Bible...' This is strong reliable evidence unlike the testimonies of Heck Tate, Bob Ewell and Mayella and proves that the trial never should have happened. All the trial accounts and the attitude of the town's people towards the trial and all the people involved i.e. Tom Robinson, Atticus and the children reveal the town's racist, prejudice, hypocritical nature. ...read more.

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