Tom Robinson

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Tom Robinson by Mind Map: Tom Robinson

1. Looks like

1.1. Dodgy left arm

1.1.1. "Thomas Robinson reached around and ran his fingers under his lefy arm and lifted it. He guided his arm to the Bible and his rubber-like left hand sought contact with the black binding." page 207 Was stabbed once and has paralysis in his left arm as a result. This makes him lopsided.

1.2. Negro

1.2.1. "That nigger yonder took advantage of me" - pointing at Tom page 205 Tom is a negro and these is the basis of his unfair trial and discrimination.

1.3. Strong and muscly

1.3.1. "Tom Robinson's powerful shoulders rippled under his thin shirt." Page 202 Tom had a very strong body because of the work that he does on the cotton farm.

1.4. Handsome

1.4.1. "Tom was a black-velvet Negro, not shiny, but soft black velvet. The whites of his eyes shone in his face, and when he spoke we saw flashes of his teeth. If he had been whole, he would have been a fine specimen of a man." Tom is viewed as a very fine looking black man

2. Acts like

2.1. Respectful

2.1.1. "He seemed a respectable negro, and a respectable negro would never go up into somebody's yard of his own violation" page 209 Tom would alway pay full respect to both white and black people.

2.2. Polite

2.2.1. "'What did he say?' Tom Robinson swallowed again, and his eyes widened. 'Somethin' not fittin' to say - not fittin' for these folks's chillun to hear'" page 211 Tom is careful about how he acts and what he says as he never wants to offend people so he is polite.

2.3. Scared

2.3.1. "A soft husky voice came from the darkness above: 'They gone?' Atticus stepped back and looked up. 'They've gone,' he said. Page 170 Tom was afraid of what might happen to him after the trial as he knew it was almost certain he would be convicted. This made him depend on Atticus for strength and comfort in what would happen to him.

3. Motivated by

3.1. Compassion

3.1.1. "Tom Robinson was probably the only person who was ever decent to her" Tom is compassionate to Mayella simply because he is a nice man

3.2. Instinctive want to help others

3.2.1. "She said, ‘I reckon I’ll hafta give you a nickel, won’t I?’ an‘ I said, ’No ma’am, there ain’t no charge.‘" Tom is happy to help out free of charge and doesn't mind the extra work

3.3. Selflessness

3.3.1. “Then you were mighty polite to do all that chopping and hauling for her, weren’t you, boy?” “I was just tryin‘ to help her out, suh.” “That was mighty generous of you, you had chores at home after your regular work, didn’t you?” Tom is very selfless in the way he is happy to help out Mayella despite having his own jobs to do

4. Beliefs and values

4.1. Respect

4.1.1. "I found myself believing him in spite of his protesting too much. He seemed to be a respectable Negro, and a respectable Negro would never go up into somebody’s yard of his own volition." Tom is very respectful in the way that he talks to others

4.2. Compassion

4.2.1. “You did all this chopping and work from sheer goodness, boy?” “Tried to help her, I says.” Mr. Gilmer smiled grimly at the jury. “You’re a mighty good fellow, it seems—did all this for not one penny?” “Yes, suh. I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more’n the rest of ‘em—" Tom feels compassion for Mayella which is why he is kind to her in the first place

4.3. Helpfulness

4.3.1. “Were you paid for your services?” “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.” Tom is happy to help out simply out of the goodness of his heart

5. How others see him

5.1. Disgusting and horrible

5.1.1. "He stood and pointed his finger at Tom Robinson. 'I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!'" This is mainly the Ewells and the people who believe them as they think that he raped Mayella Ewell.

5.2. Less important

5.2.1. "All the little man on the witness stand had that made him any better than his nearest neighbours was that, if scrubbed with lye soap in very hot water, his skin was white." This meant that even when compared with horrible people Tom, and other negroes, were still worse because they were white. He was seen by almost everyone as worse and less important that white people.

5.3. a good man and hard working

5.3.1. "'I just want the whole lot of you to know one thing right now. That boy's worked for me eight years an' I ain't had a speck o'trouble outa him. Not a speck'” Page 195 This is said by Tom's employer who is one of the people who knows Tom best. This view of Tom is also from some other people in Maycomb such as the Finches and Miss Maudie Atkinson

6. Textual issues or concerns linked to this character

6.1. The accused crime he is framed for

6.1.1. "He stood and pointed his finger at Tom Robinson. 'I seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!'" Tom is accused of raping Mayella Ewell, a crime of which he is innocent of, but is sentenced due to the biased, racist anti-negro view of the jury.

6.2. Racism

6.2.1. "What was the evidence of her [Mayella] offense? Tom Robinson, a human being. She must put Tom Robinson away from her. Tom Robinson was her daily reminder of what she did. What did she do? She tempted a Ne_gro. 'She was white, and she tempted a Ne_gro. She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Ne_gro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards.’" It is taboo to kiss a black man