How do I write a monologue for Tom Robinson from To Kill A Mockingbird?I  have to do a 2-3 minute speech in front of my class with props but I'm not exactly sure what a monologue is and i need...

How do I write a monologue for Tom Robinson from To Kill A Mockingbird?

I  have to do a 2-3 minute speech in front of my class with props but I'm not exactly sure what a monologue is and i need help on what to write. Also it is supossed to have some historical, cultural, or thematic connection with my person (Tom Robinson) Thanks!

1 Answer | Add Yours

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

What is paramount in an assignment such as this is to be sure that the monologue--a speech delivered by one person in the presence of others that expresses his thoughts--is in character.  That is, the monologue of Tom Robinson must contain verisimilitude with respect to the characterization drawn by the author.

One other aspect of monologue that can exist is that the speech can also be addressed to another character or to the audience.  In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, for instance, Mercutio delivers a monologue on Queen Mab which, in part, mocks what Mercutio considers Romeo's vain fantasy about Rosalind, thus foreshadowing the approach of genuine feeling. So, with this aspect in mind, the monologue of Tom Robinson could be addressed to Mayella, who has essentially betrayed his kindness.

Within the historical context of 1930s Alabama, that Mayella would betray Tom is entirely plausible and to be expected.  Yet, Tom, whose heart is so kind, instinctly transcends the mores of Jim Crow and extends human charity to Mayella. Even in his testimony he exhibits his overriding kindness which, sadly, is his nemesis. Clearly, he cannot grasp that man-made rules supercede basic human kindness. 

Perhaps, then, the monologue could have as its main point his puzzling at the gratuitous cruelty of Mayella.  It could be delivered in the prescence of other men in the jail as he paces back and forth in his cell. (You could pace like this and create a backdrop of bars with a little window like a jail cell.)  Beginning with his repetition of his condemning words, Tom might, then, launch his monologue with "I said, 'I felt sorry for her' and this was what put me here.  Why was it all right for me to help her all those other times?  What is in the heart of those Ewells; I don't understand...." But, I should have known better. Look at how those white folks treat Mr. Raymond....

(If you can use Tom's dialect in this monologue to make it more realistic.)

Sources:

We’ve answered 318,964 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question