Tom Robinson is depicted as a morally-upright, compassionate man, who routinely goes out of his way to help Mayella Ewell complete certain chores and tasks around her house. Calpurnia initially tells Atticus that Tom Robinson is a clean-living man with a positive reputation throughout their community. Although Tom does not say much throughout the novel, the reader learns more about his character in chapter 19. When Tom Robinson takes the witness stand, he demonstrates that he is a morally-upright, generous man by testifying that he routinely helped Mayella complete various household chores whenever she needed his help. In addition to testifying that he routinely helped Mayella, Tom also mentions that he never accepted any monetary compensation for his assistance. Tom then testifies that on the evening of November 21st, he offered to help Mayella bust up a chiffarobe. When Mr. Gilmer asks why Tom routinely helped Mayella without receiving compensation, Tom responds by saying,
"I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more’n the rest of ‘em—" (Lee, 201).
Tom's answer not only reveals his honesty but emphasizes his compassionate, generous nature. Tom never expected anything in return for his services and simply helped her out of the kindness of his heart. Tom’s benevolent, sympathetic nature reveals that he has strong, positive morals. Tragically, the jury is offended by Tom's answer and he becomes a victim of racial injustice.