Homework Help

In To Kill a Mockingbird, who were the four witnesses at Tom's trial?

user profile pic

slybeast2313 | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 27, 2012 at 4:16 PM via iOS

dislike 2 like

In To Kill a Mockingbird, who were the four witnesses at Tom's trial?

2 Answers | Add Yours

user profile pic

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

Posted November 27, 2012 at 5:05 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

Four witnesses took the stand at the trial of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird. They were (in order):

  • Sheriff Heck Tate.  Tate testified that most of his information was second-hand (from Bob Ewell) and that Mayella received no medical treatment following the assault. Atticus eventually determined that Mayella had bruise marks around her entire neck and that she was bruised on the right side of her face.
  • Bob Ewell.  Bob claimed that he saw Tom rape Mayella, and Atticus got Bob to admit that he was left-handed.
  • Mayella Ewell.  Mayella contradicted her own testimony (and that of Bob's) before finally refusing to answer any more of Atticus's questions.
  • Tom Robinson.  Tom claimed that Mayella first kissed him and that he ran away when Bob appeared. His most damning evidence came when he admitted to the prosecutor, Horace Gilmer, that he "felt sorry" for Mayella. Atticus's defense was that Tom's crippled left arm prevented him from causing the damage to Mayella's neck and face--and that it was probably Bob who beat his own daughter.



user profile pic

mlsldy3 | Elementary School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted February 8, 2015 at 7:01 PM (Answer #2)

dislike 0 like

The four witnesses in Tom's trial were Sheriff Heck Tate, Bob Ewell, Mayella Ewell, and Tom Robinson.

Sheriff Tate says that he got most of his information second hand, mostly from Bob. He also says that Mayella did go to the doctor and the right side of her face was bruised.

Bob Ewell testifies that he had seen Tom rape Mayella. It also comes to light that Bob is left handed.

Mayella is the next witness. Her testimony changes while on the stand, until she refuses to testify anymore.

Tom takes the stand in his own defense. He tells the court that he helped Mayella with some things around the house. He said that he felt sorry for her but would never do anything to hurt anyone. Atticus also shows the court that Tom is right handed and can't even move his left hand up. 

Atticus has done his job. He has proved that Tom is innocent and that there is no physical way he could have harmed Mayella. He also goes to prove that it was most likely Bob who injured his own daughter. Although Atticus has done everything he can and proved that Tom is innocent, Atticus knows the jury would find him guilty. There is no way a black man would get a fair trial in Maycomb. Atticus proves without a shadow of a doubt that Tom is innocent, but because Tom is a black man, he is found guilty and will lose his life.


Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes