"Hot Seat"!  My character for English Speaking and Listening task is Braxton Bragg Underwood from To Kill A Mockingbird.  I will be asked various questions for example; What made you chose to...

"Hot Seat"!  My character for English Speaking and Listening task is Braxton Bragg Underwood from To Kill A Mockingbird. 

I will be asked various questions for example; What made you chose to support Atticus on the night of the lynch mob outside the jail? 

And, Being a newspaper writer/printer you would have heard a great range of public thoughts and opinions.  What was the general view on the trial of Tom Robinson?

I am uncertain on how to answer these questions.  So any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks

1 Answer | Add Yours

mizzwillie's profile pic

mizzwillie | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

Posted on

In the novel To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Mr. Underwood is the publisher of the town paper, The Maycomb Tribune.  In that capacity, a person often has curiosity, a willingness to listen and keep an open mind, and a respect for the people they admire.  Mr. Underwood has all of these qualities especially a great respect for Atticus Finch.  As a newspaperman with his finger on the pulse of his community, he knows that most of the townspeople see any black person as a problem and thus the verdict among the majority of white people is that Tom Robinson is guilty.  Therefore, both he and Atticus expect trouble at the jail before the trial.  Mr. Underwood and his shotgun are there to keep the peace, make sure that Tom makes it to the trial alive as lynching will not be an option, and that Atticus will be safe.  Any of the white people who knew the Ewells well and have an open mind about people of color, are aware that the father is a cruel man, and several of them suspect the truth about the "rape" by Tom.  The people of color in town know that Tom is innocent, and that Atticus Finch is trying to present the truth.  Mr. Underwood is one of the people in town who understands that the verdict is inevitable at the present time, but maybe there is hope for the future.  For example, Dolphus  Raymond, who lives with the blacks because he is supposedly always drunk, shares his drink with Jem who discovers that the "drink" is only soda pop.  Yes, he uses a cover so that he can live where he wants to be without fear of criticism and offers that hope for change to Jem when he describes black people as people too. Dill also is presented as a character who supports Tom and wonders why the verdict is guilty when plainly, Tom is innocent. As you work through several of the other characters, you will see that the character's attitude will be reflected in their belief in Tom's guilt or innocence.  This sounds like a great assignment, and you have one of the characters who observes the people of Maycomb.  Have fun and enjoy your position as a character.

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,915 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question