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Two examples from the text seem to appeal to/pertain to this quote.
First, Tom Robinson's case is seen as a "baby step" in the right direction because the jury takes several hours to wrongfully convict him. In the past, the verdict would have been pronounced immediately (or nearly immediately). The deliberation of the jury is seen as progress, despite the larger failure to bring in a fair verdict.
If we take this as a step on the road to justice, we can also see that justice has not fully been served.
Later, Bob Ewell is killed as a result of his violent actions. He could not or would not learn to empathize with others. He persecuted others falsely. In the end, because he could not let go of his need to punish others, Ewell is killed.
While Tom Robinson does not receive justice, he does not die entirely in vain. There have been some inroads made in Maycomb:
- The jury did not return a verdict immediately.
- Mr. Braxton Underwood, the editor of the paper who is known for his dislike of African-Americans, is so moved by the injustice of the trial that he writes an editorial in the Maycomb Tribune in which he bitterly comments that
it is a sin to kill cripples "be they standing, sitting, or escaping....He likened Tom's death to the senseless slaughter of songbirds by hunters and children.
3.Bob Ewell is scorned by the residents even more.
In fact, in the novel To Kill a Mockingbird, justice is not achieved. Tom Robinson is killed and the low-minded racists of Maycomb never have to adjust their thinking or attitudes. The beauty of the story is not related to justice, it's about the life lessons that Scout and Jem and Dill learn, and the wonderful example that Atticus sets.
In the novel, Atticus is trying to find justice for Tom Robinson by proving his innocence. Though readers know what he is doing is right, the people of Maycomb feel otherwise. They believe that Atticus should not be defending a black man, especially since the man who accused him is white. People threaten him and his family. His journey, or "road" to seek justice for Tom is certainly not smooth because of all of the opposition he faces throughout.
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