Tom Robinson

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Tom Robinson by Mind Map: Tom Robinson

1. BELIEFS AND VALUES

1.1. It's his duty to help when he can

1.1.1. "'I reckon I'll hafta give you a nickel, won't I?' an I said, 'No ma'am, there ain't no charge.'" ......"I was glad to do it, Mr Ewell didn't seem to help her none, and neither did the chillun, and i knowed she didn't have no nickels to spare" - pg 211

1.1.1.1. In this short clip, we see that Tom Robinson really values kindness, and sees that it would be unjust for him to take money from a family as poor as the Ewells.

1.2. Deep respect for God and the law

1.2.1. "Thomas Robinson reached around, ran his fingers under his left arm and lifted it... his rubber-like left hand sought contact with the black binding. As he raised his right hand, the useless one slipped off the Bible and hit the clerk's table. He was trying again..." pg 209

1.2.1.1. In this passage, we see that despite a very valid excuse for Tom to forgo the swear-in, Tom spends a lot of effort attempting to do right by the law, and by God.

2. MOTIVATIONS

2.1. Feels sorry for Mayella Ewell

2.2. Scared of being convicted

2.2.1. "'You did all this chopping and work from sheer goodness, boy?' 'Tried to help her... I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more'n the rest of 'em - '" -pg 217

2.2.1.1. Tom Robinson's main motivation for helping Mayella Ewell was his pity for her. He saw her as a hardworking individual who was held down by her family. He has no reason to go into her house other than to help her out.

2.2.2. "'Mr Finch, I tried. I tried to 'thout being ugly to her. I didn't wanta be ugly, I didn't wanta push her or nothin'...'Why did you run?''I was scared, suh?' 'Why were you scared?''Mr Finch, if you was a nigger like me, you'd be scared, too.'" - pgs 214-215

2.2.3. "Until my father explained it to me later, I did not understand the subtlety of Tom's predicament: he would not have dared strike a white woman under any circumstance and expect to live long, so he took the first opportunity to run - a sure sign of guilt" - pg 215

2.2.3.1. Tom Robinson did not know what to do, as he knew that as a black man he would be blamed for this, even though it was not his doing at all. He tries to ask he politely to move, but she refuses to let in, forcing him to run away, which gives him the appearance of a guilty man.

2.3. Does not want to chance his life in a 'white' court

2.3.1. "I guess Tom was tired of taking white men's chances and preferred to take his own." - pg 260

2.3.1.1. Tom attempts to escape from prison, where he is being held until the appeal. Tom tries to escape because he has lost faith in the court, and in a way lost faith in Atticus' ability to help him. He decides to take his own chances by running, rather than waiting for the appeal to go through.

3. HOW OTHERS SEE HIM

3.1. Guilty

3.1.1. “When it’s a white man’s word against a black man’s, the white man always wins. They’re ugly but those are the facts of life.” Page 243.

3.1.1.1. This quote shows us that even though the evidence suggested that he was not guilty they found him guilty anyway. This is because he is black and Mayella Ewell is a white person. The jury found Tom Robinson guilty just because Mayella said that he raped her.

3.2. Doomed

3.2.1. “The jury didn’t have to give him death - If they wanted to they could have just given him 20 years.”

3.2.1.1. This quote says that they had their minds made up before they went into the trial. No amount of evidence that showed Tom was not guilty would have made a difference. Because Tom Robinson was black, the jury couldn’t just give him 20 years they had to go the full way and give him the death penalty.

4. LOOKS LIKE

4.1. Disabled

4.1.1. “Tom Robinson's powerful shoulders rippled under his thin shirt... He looked oddly off balance, but it was not from the way he was standing. His left arm was fully twelve inches shorter than his right, and hung dead at his side. It ended in a small shrivelled hand.” Page 205

4.1.1.1. Even though Tom was strong he had a disability because he couldn’t use his left arm. He looks off balance because his arm is shorter than the other. This fact formed some of the evidence that showed Tom could not have hit Mayella because he can only use his right arm and Mayella said her attacker came up from behind and hit her left side which would have been impossible for Tom to do.

4.2. Family Man

4.2.1. "Tom was twenty-five years of age; he was married with three children; he had been in trouble with the law before" (Scout, 210)

4.2.1.1. This quote shows that he is a family man because he works to feed his family and he loves his wife and kids very much. Everything he does is for his family.

5. TEXTUAL ISSUES OR CONCERNS TO THIS CHARACTER

5.1. Racism

5.1.1. "The only thing we’ve got is a black man’s word against the Ewells‘. The evidence boils down to you-did—I-didn’t. The jury couldn’t possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson’s word against the Ewells’—are you acquainted with the Ewells?”

5.1.1.1. In Maycomb, there is a strong racial culture towards the blacks. Most of the people hate the black population and treat them as dirt. As a result, whenever one of them is accused of a crime, it is very rare for them to be proven innocent.

5.2. The Rape Case

5.2.1. “Old Mr. Bob Ewell accused... [Tom Robinson] of rapin‘ his girl an’ had him arrested an‘ put in jail—”

5.2.1.1. Most of the Second Part of the novel revolves around the court case of Tom Robinson. The Ewell family accuses him of raping Mayella, which is a serious allegation, as it almost inevitable that he will be proven guilty. Atticus Finch seems to be one of the only people who believe that he is innocent, even after he puts forward a case so strong that, if Tom Robinson was white, he would probably have been proven innocent.

6. ACTS LIKE

6.1. Kind, Gentlehearted

6.1.1. "No suh, not after she offered me a nickel the first time. I was glad to do it, Mr. Ewell didn’t seem to help her none, and neither did the chillun, and I knowed she didn’t have no nickels to spare.”

6.1.1.1. Tom Robinson was a very gentle and kind hearted man. He worked solely for his family and didn't wish ill on anyone. In this quote, Tom states that he wasn't trying to harm Mayella, he was simply trying to help her, and he did it for no charge.

6.2. Polite

6.2.1. "It occurred to me that in their own way, Tom Robinson’s manners were as good as Atticus’s. Until my father explained it to me later, I did not understand the subtlety of Tom’s predicament: he would not have dared strike a white woman under any circumstances and expect to live long, so he took the first opportunity to run—a sure sign of guilt."

6.2.1.1. Tom Robinson is depicted as a very polite man in the novel. This is not just to look good in front of the judge and the jury, but because that was the way black people were back then. Even though they copped constant abuse, they generally never disrespected a white person in any way