To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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What mistake did Tom make in saying that he felt "sorry" for Mayella in To Kill a Mockingbird?

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The mistake that Tom made was feeling sorry for a white woman, when whites are supposed to be superior to blacks. 

By feeling sorry for Mayella, Tom put himself above her.  This is the ultimate mistake for a black man in a town like Maycomb.  No matter what, whites are superior to blacks.  This is the way they want to keep things.  Even the poor whites that live in trash heaps like the Ewells are better than respectable, hard-working Tom Robinson.

 Atticus is one of the few people who looks at Tom as a person.  He is fully aware that Mayella Ewell was not raped.  She was beaten up by her father because she kissed a black man.  He is aware that Tom Robinson did nothing wrong except try to help Mayella.  It was...

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