What are some interactions between Tom Robinson and other charcters in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird?Internal and external conflicts, motivation, relationships, influences, etc. 

1 Answer | Add Yours

bullgatortail's profile pic

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

Posted on

ATTICUS.  Atticus recognizes Tom as "a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman." He knows that "The defendant is not guilty, but someone else in this courtroom is."

JEM.  Jem shed tears for Tom, and he never doubts Tom's innocence--or Atticus's trust in Tom's story.

SCOUT.  After Scout's first look at Tom's "broad shoulders and bull-thick neck. He could easily have done it." But Tom's "shriveled hand" and his "respectable" testimony leads her to "believing him."

CALPURNIA.  Cal is a friend of Tom and his wife, Helen, and she contributes to the collection taken up at the church that will be donated to the Robinson family.

LINK DEAS.  Tom's employer believes in Tom and in Atticus, and he gets himself thrown out of the courtroom after claiming that "I ain't had a speck o'trouble outa him. Not a speck."

SHERIFF TATE.  Tate must have believed Bob's story about Tom raping Mayella at first, but Tom's testimony appears to have changed Heck's mind. After Bob's death, Tate claims that "There's a black boy dead for no reason, and the man responsible for it's dead."

BOB EWELL.  To Bob, Tom is no better than an animal, who he claims to have seen "ruttin' on my Mayella." Tom's conviction and death do not satisfy Bob, however, and he seeks further retribution from Atticus, the man who defended Tom.

MAYELLA EWELL.  Mayella chooses Tom as the unfortunate recipient of her first kiss--she "might as well kiss a nigger"--but she may have actually appreciated his previous kindness toward her. She is more afraid of her father than owning up to the truth, however, and her dishonesty and hatred becomes evident on the stand when she claims he raped her.

B.B. UNDERWOOD.  Underwood "despises Negroes," but he also believes in fair play, and he stands watch over Atticus and Tom at the jail on the night the lynch mob arrives with a loaded shotgun in his hands and a bottle of cherry wine at his side. After Tom's death, he likens Tom's killing to the "slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children."

HORACE GILMER.  To Tom's prosecutor, he is just another guilty Negro, "impudent" and unworthy of being called anything but "boy."


We’ve answered 317,754 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question