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Why can't Helen Robinson get work in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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rajdarshani | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted May 25, 2011 at 11:31 AM via web

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Why can't Helen Robinson get work in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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

Posted May 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM (Answer #1)

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Helen Robinson, Tom's wife, can't get work because no white employers want to have anything to do with Tom or his kin, due to the circumstances of the charges (that Tom, a black man, raped a white woman). Although Reverend Sykes explains to the congregation that Helen can't leave her children alone while Tom is in jail, Scout realizes this is not necessarily true. She knows that many field workers take their children with them, putting them "in whatever shade there was" while the parents worked (usually the cotton fields). Calpurnia finally explained that

"Folks aren't anxious to have anything to do with any of his family."

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