What are Tom Robinson's greatest personal traits in To Kill a Mockingbird? 

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

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By all rights, Tom Robinson is apparently a humble, honest, kind man. Tom admits that he has helped Mayella Ewell before when she needed assistance around the house, and he has never taken money for his work. Tom "felt right sorry for her" since "she didn't have nobody to help her" around the Ewell house. He is a family man with a wife, Helen, and children; the members of the First Purchase Church think enough of Tom to take up a collection for his family. Link Deas voices his opinion in the courtroom--and then is thrown out--announcing that

"That boy's worked for me for eight years an' I ain't had a speck o'trouble outa him. Not a speck."  (Chapter 19)

Unlike Bob and Mayella Ewell, Tom answers each question respectfully, addressing both Atticus and Mr. Gilmer as "sir." Tom admits that he had been arrested before, for defending himself against another man, and that he had "served thirty days for disorderly conduct." His honesty is probably his strongest trait, and Atticus points this out to the jury.

     "And so a quiet, respectable, humble Negro who had the unmitigated temerity to 'feel sorry' for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people's."  (Chapter 20)


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