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In "To Kill a Mockingbird", what is the verdict of the trial? Describe...

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al3ren | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted November 19, 2008 at 1:02 AM via web

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In "To Kill a Mockingbird", what is the verdict of the trial? Describe Jem’s reaction when the jury came back with the verdict.

" Chapter 21 To Kill a Mockingbird "

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parkerlee | Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted November 19, 2008 at 1:35 AM (Answer #1)

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Despite Tom Robinson's obvious innocence, he is convicted of rape as it is his word versus a white woman's. The social hierarchy must be maintained at all cost. If a "breach" in the system should allow a black man to contest the testimony of a white woman and win, then what might happen next?

Upon hearing the verdict, Jem goes out of the courtroom and cries. He has lost all faith in the citizens of Maycomb, in the sense of justice within the legal system, and in people in general. Jem's loss of innocence goes hand in hand with his increased understanding of just how powerful the pressure of social conformity can be.

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lunatix | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 30, 2012 at 4:21 AM (Answer #2)

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Jem is a very emotional person. Throughout the entire trial of Tom Robinson, he is sure that the jury will not convict Tom. But when the verdict comes back as guilty, he feels as though he is being physically attacked.

“Judge Taylor was polling the jury: ‘Guilty... guilty... guilty... guilty...’ I peeked at Jem: his hands were white from gripping the balcony rail, and his shoulders jerked as if each ‘guilty’ was a separate stab between them. (Chapter 21 pg. 349)


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