To Kill A Mockingbird - Tom Robinson

627 Words3 Pages
Tom Robinson Mockingbirds are killed daily without any reason. Their only sin is to ‘‘make music for us to enjoy, sing their hearts out for us’’ but many times the price of innocence is death (119). Many people are not prepared for the evil they encounter, and as a result, they are destroyed. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee uses Tom Robinson’s innocence and dark color of his black velvet skin, in order to show the senseless persecution found throughout the hypocrisy and lies of Maycomb. Many people tend to blind themselves to the truth, which is what happened with Tom Robinson. He was accused of raping Mayella Ewell, but his only sin was being ‘‘the only person who was ever decent to her [Mayella]’’ helping her every single day without charging her anything just because he felt ‘‘right sorry for her’’ (257,264). His innocence is shown in different forms; one of them being the name Robinson, Tom’s last name that comes from the bird robin. As a robin’s beautiful, complex and almost continuous song brings joy to us, Tom Robinson brought joy and happiness continuously to the miserable life of Mayella Ewell, but the robins are threatened by the blue jays, destroying their innocence, just as Maycomb destroyed Tom’s. Besides his left arm, Tom Robinson’s biggest disability is his skin color. Harper Lee describes him as a “black-velvet Negro, not shiny but soft black velvet” (257). Black velvet is a pure and absolute black, which, in part shows his purity, yet the only thing that his black skin brought to him was death “at the minute Mayella opened her mouth and screamed” (323). Despite significant evidence of Tom’s innocence, he was declared guilty, just because of Maycomb’s prejudice against the colored people, the ones that generated profits for them. At the same time, white, is used by Harper Lee to describe, “The white of his eyes [Tom’s] eyes [that] shone
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