How could I sum up in a paragraph the contrasts between the judge and the jury in To Kill a Mockingbird and how they respect and take the verdict? Are there any quotes I can use?

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bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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As pointed out in several different chapters of To Kill a Mockingbird, the all-white, all-male jury has already made up its mind about the verdict before the trial even began. Atticus tells his brother, Jack, in Chapter 9 that

     "The jury couldn't possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson's word against the Ewells'--"
     "You know what's going to happen as well as I do..."

And Atticus' prediction proves terribly accurate for Tom. The jury totally disregards all of the proof presented that the crippled Tom was physically incapable of causing the damage done to Mayella, instead choosing to believe the testimony of the Ewells. One juror, a Cunningham, did hold out for a while, but he could not sway the other members, and he eventually gave in to their pressure.

Judge Taylor, on the other hand, wanted Tom to receive a fair shake, appointing Atticus to take on the case rather than the usual public defender. He exhibits fairness throughout the trial, showing disgust with Bob Ewell's callous behavior, and refusing to be moved by Mayella's tears.

     Judge Taylor let her cry for a while, then he said, "That's enough now..."
     "Now you're a big girl, so you just sit up straight and tell... us what happened to you."

When Mayella accuses Atticus of trying to bully her, Judge Taylor defends Atticus.

"Mr. Finch is not making fun of you. What's the matter with you?"

Even the Negroes in attendance seem to think that Judge Taylor is favoring Tom and Atticus. According to Reverend Sykes,

"... he did right well... he was mighty fair-minded... I thought he was leanin' a little to our side..."

Bob must have thought so, too, since he paid a visit to Judge Taylor's house after the trial--no doubt with malicious intent on his mind.

urban-smartie's profile pic

urban-smartie | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted on

Are there any quotations to show what the jury thought about the verdict and the amount of respect they had for Tom Robinson, Atticus and the judge? Where there any specifics? What about Jem, there was a deep contrast between what he'd expected to happen in the court case and what happened in reality? Are there any good points to make about that? Any quotations?


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