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What are Tom Robinson's, Mayella Ewell's, and the judge's points-of- view in the...

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csacra13 | Student, College Freshman | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 17, 2011 at 5:32 AM via web

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What are Tom Robinson's, Mayella Ewell's, and the judge's points-of- view in the courtroom during the trial of Tom Robinson in To Kill a Mockingbird?

I need to know these characters' points-of-view in the courtroom during the trial of Tom Robinson.

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

Posted April 17, 2011 at 7:47 AM (Answer #1)

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TOM ROBINSON.  Tom's testimony seems more truthful than either
Bob's or Mayella's, and he claims to be innocent of all of the charges against him. He did not attack Mayella nor was he physically capable because of his crippled arm; she hugged and kissed him, and then he ran away. Perhaps his biggest mistake was admitting that he felt sorry for Mayella--a thing no black man was supposed to feel toward a white woman in 1930s Alabama.

MAYELLA EWELL.  Mayella claimed that Tom beat and raped her, and that she was the wounded party, but Atticus caught her in several discrepancies during her testimony. She seemed confused much of the time, and she was highly emotional. She cried at the beginning of her testimony and then seemed "terrified" when Atticus began his questioning. She eventually stormed from the witness stand calling the men that were present in the courtroom "stinkin' cowards."

JUDGE JOHN TAYLOR. Judge Taylor did his best to show his impartiality, but we know that he didn't seem impressed with Bob Ewell. He looked "benignly" at Bob during a break in the testimony before warning him to watch his language. Taylor was not fooled by Ewell's "dogged earnestness," and he watched Ewell carefully, as if he was a "gardenia in full bloom on the witness stand." He treated Mayella with kid gloves, but recognized that the woman had the mind of a child. He warned the prosecutor against making sarcastic remarks about Atticus and generally supported Atticus during his cross-examination of Mayella and Tom. Reverend Sykes thought Taylor "was mighty fair-minded... I thought he was leanin' a little to our side." We know that Judge Taylor wanted Tom to get a truly fair trial or else he wouldn't have asked Atticus to defend him in the first place.

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