Why is Tom Robinson the target of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird?  Racism quotes. Why Tom Robinson?

Asked on by trf63

1 Answer | Add Yours

bullgatortail's profile pic

bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If I understand your post, you are wondering why Tom Robinson is a target of racism in To Kill a Mockingbird. First, racism was a fact of life in the 1930s Deep South, and Alabama was no exception. Many white people considered African-Americans as second-class citizens, and they were treated as such. Segregation--in schools, churches, neighborhoods and virtually all public places--was firmly established. As for Tom, he was particularly despised because of the charge against him: the rape and beating of a white woman. The "N" word is used often to describe Tom: More than once, Atticus is called a "nigger-lover" for his decision to defend Tom. The prosecuting attorney, Harry Gilmer, repeatedly calls Tom "boy" while he is cross-examining him. Perhaps the most memorable racist quote concerning Tom comes from Bob Ewell when he testifies that he

"... seen that black nigger yonder ruttin' on my Mayella!" 

We’ve answered 319,865 questions. We can answer yours, too.

Ask a question