How does the Tom Robinson trial affect Maycomb county as a whole in "To Kill A Mockingbird"?

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This is a loaded question, as there is no one way all the people responded.  However, if we had to make a generalization about the whole of Maycomb, the trial of Tom Robinson did not really impact the people in any significant way.  The people go back to their own business, as if nothing happened.  The trial is at best an entertaining spectacle.  Now that it is over, it is back to work as usual.  Most of the town probably feels this, and so nothing really changes. 

Some people harbor fear and resentment in their hearts.  The women's missionary society is a perfect example. One women feels unsafe in her bed.  The implication is that someone like Tom Robinson might try to rape her.  Here is a quote:

“S-s-s Grace,” she said, “it’s just like I was telling Brother Hutson the other day. ‘S-s-s Brother Hutson,’ I said, ‘looks like we’re fighting a losing battle, a losing battle.’ I said, ‘S-s-s it doesn’t matter to ’em one bit. We can educate ‘em till we’re blue in the face, we can try till we drop to make Christians out of ’em, but there’s no lady safe in her bed these nights.‘ He said to me, ’Mrs. Farrow, I don’t know what we’re coming to down here.‘ S-s-s I told him that was certainly a fact.”

Finally, if we analyze the end of the book, it is clear that nothing in Maycomb really changes.  For example, Miss Gates at school talks about the horrors of Hilter, but she cannot see the problems in Maycomb.  This shows that the trial of Tom Robinson did very little. 

 

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