Who is Link Deas in "To Kill a Mockingbird"?What (unsolicited) comment does he add to the proceedings?

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poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In To Kill a Mockingbird, Mr. Link Deas is Tom Robinson's employer and a man who demonstrates an ability to rise above the racist beliefs of the community. During Tom's trial, Deas stands up and exclaims:

I just want the whole lot of you to know one thing right now. That boy's worked for me eight years an' I ain't had a speck o' trouble outa him. Not a speck.

Judge Taylor orders Deas to sit down and be quiet and to wait to say anything of that sort until he under oath. While this is a valiant effort to defend Tom's character, Deas ultimately is risking a mistrial; Judge Taylor orders the court reporter to strike out Deas' comments and instructs the jury to ignore them, as well.

Despite the efforts of Atticus to prove Tom innocent, he is found guilty; Tom is later killed after trying to escape from prison while waiting on his appeal. Deas does his best to aid the Robinson family by providing work for his widow, Helen, and by defending her from the harassment of Bob Ewell.

ajmchugh eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Link Deas is Tom Robinson's boss in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird.  Deas, recognizing how unfairly Tom is being treated, yells out during the trial that Tom has worked for him for eight years and proclaims that he hasn't had a "speck o' trouble" out of him. 

Deas's outburst further reinforces the idea that Tom is a good, hard-working man and that he isn't the type of person the Ewells are attempting to make him out to be.  Despite all the evidence that should have exonerated Tom, and despite the fact that the Bob Ewell is an alcoholic who has proven to be incapable of taking care of his family, Tom is still convicted of rape. 

Read the study guide:
To Kill a Mockingbird

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