How does racism affect the following Maycomb community members: Tom and Helen Robinson, Calpurnia, Scout, Jem, Dill, Mayella Ewell, and Dolphus Raymond?  

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gmuss25 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tom Robinson becomes a victim of racism when he is unjustly convicted. Tom, who is black, is wrongly convicted of raping Mayella Ewell based solely on the color of his skin. Racist jury members convict Tom Robinson because he is black and not because of the evidence presented during the trial. Helen Robinson, Tom's wife, has a hard time finding work because she is associated with Tom. If Tom had not been wrongly accused of raping a white woman, then Helen would not face discrimination from the Maycomb community.

Calpurnia was not given the chance to go to school as a child because she was black and learned to read from Miss Buford. Aunt Alexandra views Calpurnia with contempt because she is black and petitions Atticus to fire her. Calpurnia's job is in jeopardy because of Alexandra's racist views.

Scout and Jem are forced to contend with the racist community members of Maycomb, who insult them and their father because Atticus is defending a black man. Dill is emotionally disturbed after witnessing Mr. Gilmer badger Tom Robinson during the trial. Mr. Gilmer talks down to Tom Robinson because he is black and Dill feels that he is treating Tom unfairly. Dill has to leave the courtroom because he begins to cry.

Mayella Ewell falsely testifies against Tom Robinson because she has broken a "time-honored code" of society. Her father beats her because she has seduced a black man. In the racist community of Maycomb, it is looked down upon for a white person to have relations with a black person. This is the same reason Dolphus Raymond is discriminated against. He is shunned by society because he chooses to associate and maintain relationships with black community members.

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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