How would you describe the Robinson family in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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slcollins | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Assistant Educator

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Other than Tom, our exposure to the Robinson family is sparse. However, we can make several inferences about the Robinsons from other characters’ comments and actions. Tom is obviously a hard-working man, as evidenced by Link Deas’ defensive outburst in the courtroom. Tom is also seen as an honest man through his characterization in the trial scene. The reader believes Tom is telling the truth and that he is an honest character. We know, as well, that Helen, Tom’s wife, is hard-working; she goes to work for Link Deas after Tom’s death. We also know that the both Tom and Helen are fearful. Tom is fearful of what awaits him in prison; this is the reason he makes a run for it, which results in his execution at the hands of the prison guards. Helen can also be seen as fearful when Bob Ewell begins harassing her; she does not want Link Deas to know what has been happening; the reader can infer this is because of the retribution that might await her should she call out Bob Ewell in front of the town. In summary, the Robinsons can be described as honest, hard-working and fearful characters.

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