In To Kill a Mocking Bird from chapters 18-23 what is a good quote that proves Robinson innocent, give me a couple. Thanks and please hurry 

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mnietfeld eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Ch. 18 begins with Mayella being questioned at court. Her accusation that Tom Robinson raped her is the reason that Tom Robinson is being prosecuted. She claims that she invited Tom Robinson to come inside and "bust up [a] chiffarobe for [her]" (ch. 18). (A chiffarobe is a piece of furniture that generally has drawers and a section to hang clothing.) She claims that he came into the house and took advantage of her, while she was attempting to get him a nickel. When Atticus gets to question Mayella, he asks questions about how Tom Robinson took advantage of her. He asks,

Do you remember him beating you about the face . . . You seem sure enough that he choked you. . . . You "kicked and hollered as loud as you could." Do you remember him beating you about the face? (ch. 18)

At this point, Mayella is quiet. She does not want to say anything that might reveal that she is lying. He asks her once more if she remembers being beat in the face. This time, she responds:

No, I don't recollect if he hit me. I mean, yes I do, he hit me. (ch. 18)

At this point, the inconsistency of her story is very apparent to readers. Did he hit her? Did he not hit her? Why does she keep changing her mind? Atticus then asks Mayella to "identify the man who raped [her]," and she asserts, again, that it was Tom Robinson (248). Atticus asks him to stand up. The book describes his appearance:

Tom Robinson's powerful shoulders rippled under his thin shirt. He rose to his feet and stood with his right hand on the back of his chair. . . . His left arm was fully twelve inches shorter than his right and hung dead at his side. It ended in a small shriveled hand, and from as far away as the balcony I could see that it was of no use to him. (ch. 18)

Tom has a crippled arm. Though he is strong, as seen by his "powerful shoulders," it would be nearly impossible for him to choke and beat someone about the face at the same time. Atticus points this out to the audience when he questions:

Miss Mayella, you've testified that the defendant choked and beat you –– you didn't say that he sneaked up behind you and knocked you cold, but you turned around and there he was –– . . . do you wish to reconsider any of your testimony? (ch. 18)

Nonetheless, she holds firm to her story, even though there is visible evidence that it would be practically impossible for him to abuse her in the ways she described. As Atticus continues to question her about the specific events, such as why her siblings did not respond when she was supposedly screaming for help, she stops responding to his questions. For several minutes her response repeats: "No answer" (ch. 18). She stops responding because she sees that Atticus has reason to doubt her story. She does not want to give him any more evidence against her. Nonetheless, Atticus does not give up. She eventually grows frustrated with his questions and shouts, once again, that Tom Robinson abused her:

I got somethin' to say an' then I ain't gonna say no more. [Tom Robinson] yonder took advantage of me an' if you fine fancy gentleman don't wanta do nothin; about it then you're all yellow stinkin' cowards . . . . (ch. 18)

Here, rather than offering additional evidence of the crime, Mayella turns to emotion as a tool of persuasion. She calls anyone who opposes her story a "coward," hoping that this will persuade her jurors toward her side of the case. When she stops providing solid evidence and begins to employ emotion, rather than logic, her argument loses even more credibility.

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To Kill a Mockingbird

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