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How does Maycomb react to the news of Tom Robinson's death, in To Kill a...

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nerazzurro | Student, Grade 10 | (Level 3) eNoter

Posted January 26, 2009 at 10:44 PM via web

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How does Maycomb react to the news of Tom Robinson's death, in To Kill a Mockingbird? (Chapter 25)


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troutmiller | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 26, 2009 at 11:11 PM (Answer #1)

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The first thing they do is blame Tom. In chapter 25 it says, "To Maycomb, Tom's death was typical.  Typical of a ni---- to cut and run.  Typical of a n---'s mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw...You know how they are."

The news lasted maybe two days in Maycomb.  It spread pretty fast, and then it was over with.  The only interesting thing about his death appeared in the The Maycomb Tribune the next Thursday.  It was an editorial that likened the killing of a "criple" to the "senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children."  Although Mr. Underwood was a racist himself, his editorial showed that he respected both Atticus and the law.  That's why he was there with a gun the night of the Sarum Bunch mob.  He wanted to point out how the theme of killing a mockingbird fit Tom's death.

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mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 30, 2014 at 10:06 PM (Answer #2)

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There are a couple of reactions to the news of Tom Robinson's death. A few of the people, who really cared, were upset about the news.

The rest of the town, however, could have cared less. Now that the hype had died down about the trial, people just thought Tom was another black person to be killed and they thought he got what he deserved. For a couple of days, the people would talk about it, and gossip, but after that the news just went away. 

The death of Tom Robinson shows us of the tragic injustice done to Tom. The whole town was against the innocent man right from the beginning. Just because he was a black man, he was guilty before there was a trial. The harsh reality of what Scout and Jem see brings them to maturity sooner than Atticus had wanted it to. Atticus had tried so hard to keep the ugliness from the kids, but they were thrown right in the middle of it. Jem and Scout saw first hand just how mean and hateful people can be. By the town reacting the way they did, just goes to show us what the people of Maycomb really thought of Tom. 


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zumba96 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 3) Valedictorian

Posted December 25, 2014 at 4:12 AM (Answer #3)

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The town upholds the racial prejudices found within the town and they say they were expecting his death because he is an African man. People just believed he was another African man who was about to die. This showcases the thinking present in the minds of the people of the community who view colored life as less then them. 

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