Discuss the conflict presented in To Kill A Mockingbird in the context of the white community and the black community?

Expert Answers
lsumner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

No doubt, racism existed in the town of Maycomb during Tom Robinson's trial. In fact, a group of racist, white men come to the jail to take Tom Robinson even before the trial begins. This group of white, racist men have one common goal. Their plan is to lynch Tom Robinson before his trial begins.

Atticus Finch stands guard over Tom during the night of this scene. Atticus is determined to protect Tom. Thanks to Atticus' children, Jem and Scout, the lynch mob is shamed into getting in their vehicle and leaving the scene at the jail which housed Tom Robinson. Tom is unharmed thanks to Atticus and his children.

Truly, racism is found at the very heart of Maycomb in To Kill A Mockingbird. Tom Robinson cannot get a fair trial even though Atticus presents evidence that proves Tom Robinson is not guilty of charges raised against him. Atticus proves that Tom could not have assaulted Mayella due to the fact that the assault was carried out by a left-handed man. Tom Robinson's left arm is crippled. He could not have committed the assault against Mayella, but, in the town of Maycomb, racism prevailed. Tom Robinson is found guilty due to the racism of the twelve, white, racist jury members.

Tom dies an innocent man due to racism. This narrative explains in detail about how prejudices existed during the time of Tom Robinson's trial:

Scout's narrative relates how she and her elder brother Jem learn about fighting prejudice and upholding human dignity through the example of their father. Atticus Finch has taken on the legal defense of a black man who has been falsely charged with raping a white woman.

Despite Atticus' excellent representation, he cannot free Tom Robinson due to the jury members' prejudices. No doubt, Harper Lee has captured the essence of people's attitudes found deep in the heart of Maycomb:

Lee's story of the events surrounding the trial has been admired for its portrayal of Southern life during the 1930s, not only for its piercing examination of the causes and effects of racism, but because it created a model of tolerance and courage in the character of Atticus Finch.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question