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To Kill a Mockingbird Chapters 19-20
Transcript of To Kill a Mockingbird Chapters 19-20
To Kill a Mockingbird
In chapter 19 of
To Kill a Mockingbird
the defendant Tom Robinson explains his case and the reason he ran from the Ewells house by saying: "Mr. Finch, if you was a nigger like me, you'd be scared, too." (Lee, 261)
Tom Robinson clearly knew that the jury and even the judge would not be nice to him no matter all the proof presented just because of the color of his skin.
The Ewells are known as one of the poorest families in the county of Maycomb since the beginning of the novel and Scout repeatedly talks about them. In this chapter we can see that the Ewells economic status is low when Mr. Gilmer interviewes Tom Robinson and he tries to explain why he did all the yard work for Mayella: "You're a mighty good fellow, it seems- did all this for not one penny?" (Lee, 263) This explains that Tom Robinson was not getting paid for helping Mayella.
Lack of Education
In Maycomb, Alabama the people with a good education have a more proper way of speaking such as Mr. Finch and even Calpurnia but the other townspeople use all sorts of slang and cut up words. While giving his testimony of the events the citizens of Maycomb can see that Tom Robinson is not a very well educated person by his form of speech as seen in Chapter 19: " Then she shet the door in my face. Mr. Finch, I was wonderin' why it was so quiet like, an' it come to me that there weren't a chile on the place, not a one of 'em, and i said Miss Mayella, where the chillun?" (Lee, 258) As seem from his use of words the reader can infer that Tom Robinson didn't get a lot of education through his childhood.
One of the most obscured families in the county of Maycomb are the Ewells. Their father doesn't have a good job or education and doesn't care about their education since they only show up to school on the first day of class. In chapter 20 Atticus reveals some physical information in the case. Atticus mentions: "We don't know, but there is circumstantial evidence to indicate that Mayella Ewell was beaten savagely by someone who led almost exclusively with his left. " (Lee, 272) Tom Robinson writes with his right hand but Mr. Ewell writes with his left. This shows proof that Mr. Ewell wasn't happy with Mayella loving a "negro" and because of it he savagely beat her.
Definitions of Ladies and Gentlemen
Atticus was clearly seen as a gentleman in the perspective of the residents of Maycomb. He was somewhat strict, proper and had very good manners. However during the trial he does something Jem and Scout had never seen: "..he unbuttoned his vest, unbuttoned his collar, loosened his tie, and took off his coat." (Lee, 271) Scout describes this as if: "...the equivalent of him standing before us stark naked." (Lee, 271) Ladies weren't the only ones that had to be proper but gentleman too. Some big qualities that made a gentleman into one according to the people of Maycomb were dressing in good apparel, good mannerism and speech, and their actions.
Although the book clearly shows sexism against women it doesn't really show it against men but it can be found. During the trial Dill started to cry due to sickness and Scout took him outside. They find Mr. Raymond whom tells them: "Maybe things'll strike him as being-not quite right, say ,but he won't cry, not when he gets a few years on him." (Lee, 269)Although Mr. Raymond first told Dill that when he grew up he wouldn't cry from getting sick he later told him that he wouldn't cry from anything when he became a man. Mr. Raymond is basically saying that real men don't cry no matter the situation they are in.
Summary of Chapter 19
In chapter 19 Tom testifies his side of the story. He recounts that Mayella had asked him to do all kinds of chores around the house when coming from work and that in that particular day it wasn't different. However this time the children weren't around and she hugged him and asked him to kiss her. Her father was in the window and saw what had happened and called her a "...goddamn whore, I'll kill ya" (Lee, 260)
When Mr. Gilmer cross-examines him he confesses to feeling sorry for her making the courtroom very angry since it's socially unacceptable for a black man to feel sorry for a white girl. During Mr. Gilmer's cross-examination Dill begins to cry from being sick and angry at Mr. Gilmer's way of talking to Tom. Outside the courtroom they find Mr. Raymond the rich and drunken man married to a woman of color.
Summary of Chapter 2o
Mr. Raymond lets Dill drink from his paper sack and confesses that he doesn't really like drinking alcohol and instead put's coca cola in the sack. The reason behind this is because he pretends to be drunk to provide an explanation to other white people of why he married a woman of color. When Dill and Scout head back to the courtroom they find that Atticus is almost finished. Atticus gives new physical evidence that Mayella was beaten savagely by someone who leads with his left hand (Mr. Ewell) not with his right like Tom Robinson. Atticus offers his own version of the events and explains that Mayella lonely and unhappy decided to go after a black man and when her father found out he savagely beat her. When he finished his explanation the courtroom's door opens and Calpurnia walks in.
Not many people in Maycomb have as much respect for colored people as Mr. Finch. Not only does he become the defendant of a man who doesn't have the jury's vote he also thinks in a different way that any other man in all of Maycomb. Mr. Finch also has different values and ethics and is trying to pass them down to his kids Jem and Scout. In chapter 20 Scout tells Mr. Raymond: " Atticus says cheatin' a colored man is ten times worse than cheatin' a white man," (Lee, 269) Atticus clearly knew that a man must not be judged by the color of his skin and instead of looking down on them they should be our equal. Although this may seem obvious now, back then not many people thought like this.