I have to write a letter as Tom Robinson to his wife, Helen during the time of the trial. I have written the foundation of the letter but its rough and doesn't have an end--please any help! My...
I have to write a letter as Tom Robinson to his wife, Helen during the time of the trial.
I have written the foundation of the letter but its rough and doesn't have an end--please any help!
My Dearest Helen,
I miss you and the children terribly. I hope that things are getting easier, I know it’s hard but there are many people who love you and will help our family get through this terrible time. I am very grateful that Atticus decided to pursue my case; it is humbling to know such a fine man. He sees me for who I am and not only my skin colour.
How are the children? I find myself missing the simple things the most, your home cooked food, the children’s laughter, and watching them grow each day. I find it very hard to picture being stuck in this dingy place for years to come. I know that the church is helping you, as work has been difficult lately. I am truly sorry that this happened.
It was revealed today in court that Mayella was beaten by her father. I feel sorry for her. She's a good girl who is just missing her sense of values. She was raised by a rotten man who beats his own baby girl. I don’t blame her, she is lost.
Atticus indirectly proved to everyone in the courtroom that I am innocent. It didn't change the verdict, but at least everyone will know, in their hearts, the truth. Atticus helped restore my reputation and honour of our family. Atticus did the impossible and for that I am truly grateful and admire his bravery.
In Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, the verdict in the trial of Tom Robinson is a foregone conclusion.
In chapter 9, Atticus’ brother Jack asks him bad he thinks his trial prospects are. Atticus responds pessimistically:
It couldn’t be worse, Jack. The only thing we’ve got is a black man’s word against the Ewells’. The evidence boils down to you-did—I-didn’t. The jury couldn’t possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson’s word against the Ewells’. . .
Atticus has no illusions about his ability to change the thinking of a white jury. However, he believes that the case is still worth trying, and he does harbor one hope that might save Tom Robinson. He tells his brother:
Before I’m through I intend to jar the jury a bit—I think we’ll have a reasonable chance on appeal.
If I were writing this letter, I would end it by focusing on the fact that Atticus Finch hopes to forge a different outcome by appealing the verdict. However, keep in mind that Robinson is shot and killed while allegedly trying to escape custody, thus making an appeal moot. So you might have him show conflicted feelings about the appeal. Perhaps he knows Atticus is planning it, but doesn’t believe he can risk another trial.
Your letter is a very good one, as it captures the way Tom Robinson likely feels as he is in jail during his trial. You may want to refer to Atticus as "Mr. Finch," as an African American man would have always called a white man, particularly a lawyer, by his last name and the honorific "Mr." in those days. Also, the reader knows that one of Tom Robinson's children is named Sam, so you could use that name to refer to one of his children (he has three).
When you speak about how the jury knows Tom is innocent, you might want to refer to his childhood injury, during which is left hand was mangled in a cotton gin. As his left hand was mangled, he could not have hit Mayella Ewell on the right side of her face. However, Tom would likely have been aware, as you write, that there was no way that he would be declared not guilty by a jury of white people in the Jim Crow south. You might even conclude this letter by having Tom ask Helen to pray for him.