To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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Describe what happened to Tom Robinson at the end of chapter 24. Where did it happen? What was the situation? Who did it?

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In chapter 24 of To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom Robinson attempts to escape the prison where he is being held as he awaits execution for the rape of Mayella Ewell. (He did not actually commit this rape; he was wrongfully convicted by a racist jury.) While he is fleeing the prison, he is shot in the back by guards seventeen times. He dies from his wounds.


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readerofbooks eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In chapter 24, during Aunt Alexandra's women's missionary society meeting, it was reported that Tom Robinson was shot in jail.

According to this report, the police guards in the prison shot Tom Robinson during the time for exercise. The report stated Tom ran for the fence to escape in a frenzy. The report also stated that the police told him to stop and then they shot a few times into the air to warn him, but it was to no avail. 

The police also stated that he would have made it over the fence, if he had two good arms. Finally, they shot him seventeen times.

The question is whether this report is...

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zumba96 | Student

Tom is trying to escape and from that the men shoot him 17 times in the back. Tom is also crippled and the fact that he was shot 17 times just showcases the extremely cruel nature of society. They could have stopped at a couple of shots but they just wanted a chance to kill him, mercilessly, and that is what they were able to do. 

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ardvark | Student

Tom was fed up with being treated like a criminal and decided to take matters into his own hands. He decided to attempt to escape from prison before the final appeal and was shot 17 times. Unfortunately in this case an innocent man had to die.

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