Proving Tom Robinson GuiltyIf you were an attorney and you had to prove Tom guilty, how could you prove that Bob isn't the one who abused his daughter? I can't leave the contents of the book, so I...

Proving Tom Robinson Guilty

If you were an attorney and you had to prove Tom guilty, how could you prove that Bob isn't the one who abused his daughter? I can't leave the contents of the book, so I can basically only use facts given from the book. I want to prove that Bob was somehow not the one to abuse his daughter.

I was also wondering if you had an idea for an excuse of why Mr. Heck Tate and Mr. Ewell wouldn't call a doctor? I could only think that they didn't call a doctor because they didn't see any blood. I have to stay within the contents of the book for this too.

This next question I don't need as much help compared to the previous two. Staying with only facts given from the book, how would you show that Robinson had motive for raping Mayella? I already have a few ideas on this one though.

Asked on by jake-t

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kiwi's profile pic

kiwi | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

Posted on

We have no concrete evidence of a rape taking place at all due to the lack of an examination, and I would concur with #3 as to the reasons for this. It would be possible that in the struggle to loose himself from Mayella's grip Tom may have sustained contact injuries which support the idea of a struggle between him and Mayella. Detailed forensic evidence would find evidence of contact - if only the transfer of hair and/or fibres.

auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Well, it seems too obvious, but really, all Atticus does prove is that it could NOT have been Tom who hit Mayella; the natural assumption is that Bob Ewell hit her, but Atticus does not really prove it. As someone already said, though, the jury knows Bob did it. Ewell does not call a doctor because he does not care about his daughter and is protecting himself.

mwestwood's profile pic

mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If Tom is not black, the evidence Atticus puts forth that the injuries which Mayella has suffered have been made by someone who is left-handed will carry weight with the jury. For, the only reason the jury ignored the strong case that Atticus made for Tom's innocence was that Tom is an African-American. 

Short of producing a witness that Tom and his wife have not been getting along, or someone who overheard Tom say something that could incriminate him, there does not seem to be much that can be used to implicate Tom in the rape.

litteacher8's profile pic

litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In this case, the prosecution did not have to prove that Bob did not beat up Mayella.  The jury knew that he did.  It didn't matter, because they really convicted Tom of feeling sorry for Mayella, not of raping her.  It was a racist verdict.  There is no real way that the prosecution could have disproven Atticus's claim that Tom could not physically attack her.  So he ignored it.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

I can think of one really good reason why they wouldn't call a doctor -- money. Back in these times, it's not like people had health insurance and there wasn't Medicaid and stuff like that.  We know that the Ewells are dirt poor.  If they called a doctor, they'd have to pay.  I would argue that Mr. Ewell could see there wasn't anything wrong with Mayella that a doctor could fix and he doesn't have enough money to waste just getting a doctor over for no good reason.

huntman2989's profile pic

huntman2989 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Proving Tom Robinson Guilty

If you were an attorney and you had to prove Tom guilty, how could you prove that Bob isn't the one who abused his daughter? I can't leave the contents of the book, so I can basically only use facts given from the book. I want to prove that Bob was somehow not the one to abuse his daughter.

I was also wondering if you had an idea for an excuse of why Mr. Heck Tate and Mr. Ewell wouldn't call a doctor? I could only think that they didn't call a doctor because they didn't see any blood. I have to stay within the contents of the book for this too.

This next question I don't need as much help compared to the previous two. Staying with only facts given from the book, how would you show that Robinson had motive for raping Mayella? I already have a few ideas on this one though.

In the book To Kill a Mockingbird, it is clearly obvious that Bob is guilty of beating his daughter. Also, Tom is black.

spattrin040's profile pic

spattrin040 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

"It is really hard to find any evidence to support any claim, but Tom's story is more convincing."

spattrin040's profile pic

spattrin040 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

Also, Tom isn't necessarily black.

Atticus is called a N****r lover for protecting Tom, i highly doubt a white person would be a N****r, but i am not positive. (Yes, I added censory, PLEASE don't flag this)

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