Ms. Quinson's 2011-2012 9H Blog

a place for students to express themselves

“He’s the same in the courtroom as he is on the public streets.”


Tonight please read chapters 18, 19, and 20 of To Kill a Mockingbird.   Then write your response.  Please consider the following questions:

  • What passage or passages strike you as interesting or singular and why?
  • What questions do you want to discuss with the class tomorrow?
  • Why do you think these questions may generate interesting discussion?

Keep annotating!

Review those flash cards!  Make sure you quiz yourself each and every night, once or twice on the words.  If you do, you are sure to ace the vocabulary section of our Mockingbird assessment.

59 Comments to

““He’s the same in the courtroom as he is on the public streets.””

  1. April 30th, 2012 at 5:05 pm      Reply johnk4 Says:

    I suspect that atom Robinson is innocent. Mayella was being very uncomfortable when Atticus was questioning her. She seemed very nervous ad upset. I think that she was forced into testifying to a false story. Also I have noticed a pattern in how Atticus defends Tom Robinson when he questions the witnesses. He asks the for the witnesses’ side of the story and then bombard them with truths that undermine their testimony. He does this to make the witnesses seem unreliable to the jury. However how the prosecutor does his work is more like today’s lawyers. They use intimidation and fear to win their cases. Atticus’s way of defending his clients are virtually extinct in the brutal, modern world. Lawyers are not always courteous. Then Atticus goes into his speech about the prejudice towards Negros. I think it was aimed at the Ewells. He was probably trying to make them recognize that Negroes are not scapegoats. Also it could have been to sway the jury onto his side. Also Atticus is smart on how the way he plays with the jury. He appeals to them by saying it is their duty to do what is right without the racial barrier.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 5:06 pm      Reply johnk4 Says:

      Atom is supposed to be Tom

    • April 30th, 2012 at 7:47 pm      Reply Ben E. Says:

      I agree, except I don’t think nagging them and telling them they are wrong appeals to them.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 10:04 pm      Reply innag2 Says:

      I agree about how most lawyers aren’t like Atticus today. I hate to say it, because I used to always want to be a lawyer, but lawyers are generally cruel, heartless people. Not all of them, but a lot. And they have to be, with the job that they have, or they would not be able to win any cases by being soft. But I wish more lawyers were like Atticus. We need good people in this world.

      • April 30th, 2012 at 10:19 pm      Reply lucyl2 Says:

        My mom used to be a lawyer.Truthfully, it’s nothing like the book portrays the job to be. People don’t make speeches like the one that Atticus did. The most accurate portrayal actually does come from Mr. Gilmer. As much as people may hate him (like me), the job is all about winning the case for your client, whether you believe them/the other side to be guilty or not. That’s all Mr. Gilmer was doing; trying to win.

        (She’s a fourth grade teacher now. Leon can confirm that, he had her :D)

    • April 30th, 2012 at 11:45 pm      Reply Anton Says:

      I agree with everything you wrote except for the part about the speech being mostly aimed at the Ewells. It seemed that he was trying to change everyone’s outlook on racism, and make the world a better and more equal place by a little.

  2. April 30th, 2012 at 6:40 pm      Reply carak1 Says:

    In tonight’s reading, Atticus continues to defend Tom Robinson in his preposterous case against the Ewells. Although the Ewells are the most disrespected of all the white families in Maycomb, a white person’s word is taken as the only respectable truth against a black man’s. The jury seems to understand that Tom Robinson is innocent and yet it seems that they will not vote in his favor. Like Atticus took the case partially because he could never hold his head up in public if he didn’t, the jury knows that if they vote in favor of a black man, they will be shunned by their white peers. Atticus understands that he is fighting an uphill battle. Because he knew that jury would vote Tom guilty despite the overwhelming evidence proving his innocence, Atticus gave the jury a speech about a founding American idea- that all men are created equal. He spoke of how in most aspects, some men are different than others (some have better circumstances, some are smarter, etc.) but there is one way in which no men are above any other men- the court. As Atticus said, a pauper is equal to a Rockefeller, a stupid man equal to Einstein. He urges the jury to remember that although the Ewells are white, they are in no way better than Tom Robinson, in fact, they are much worse. All men are created equal, the only difference between them is how men perceive each other.

  3. April 30th, 2012 at 7:26 pm      Reply coryannm2 Says:

    In tonight’s reading Atticus continues to fight for Tom Robinson. Sadly even with overwhelming amounts of evidence proving Tom to be innocent and Bob to be guilty the fact that Tom is black is still the deciding factor amongst the jury. Atticus, of course, knows this and has been trying to persuade the jury with many speeches regarding the equality of men and they are truly inspiring and brilliant. Yet, will it persuade the jury? Hopefully this case won’t last much longer and the right man will be sent to jail.

  4. April 30th, 2012 at 7:28 pm      Reply coryannm2 Says:

    What might happen if Tom is proclaimed guilty and not Bob Ewell?

    Why is it that even though the Ewells are the lowest of the low people are still willing to let him get away with his crimes?

    • April 30th, 2012 at 8:17 pm      Reply shianak3 Says:

      If tom is proclaimed guilty, the blacks in the twon will be shocked and angry but i think everyone will return to their daily routines and forget about it.

      • April 30th, 2012 at 10:46 pm      Reply leonl2 Says:

        No. I don’t think everyone will forget about the case. I mean seriously, do you really think Atticus would forget a case he worked so hard on? And what about Tom’s wife and children? What about them?

  5. April 30th, 2012 at 7:48 pm      Reply Jesse Says:

    In the chapters we read tonight Atticus is still trying to prove Tom Robinson innocent of raping and beating Mayella Ewell. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem too good for him, However, it does seem as though Atticus is making a good case. I believe that Tom is innocent and that Mr. Ewell beat his daughter and convinced her to blame it on Tom. I do not believe that the jury will agree with that theory. I have a feeling they might decide that Tom is guilty. Although Atticus is doing his best, and a good job at that, it is not likely that a african american accused of hurting a white girl will not be convicted of that crime due to racism. It’s sad but likely that the outcome of this trial will not be a good one for Tom Robinson.

  6. April 30th, 2012 at 8:01 pm      Reply Ben E. Says:

    In the last few chapters Atticus was going through with his defense of Tom Robinson in the trial. During his closing remarks he makes a speech about how whites and blacks should be treated equal. Since my peers have summarized this to death, I want to go back two chapters to when Dill starts crying, and they have to go outside. They there meet Mr. Raymond, a supposedly alcoholic, anti-segregation, white man, who lives with the African-Americans. He offers Dill a sip from his drink. Scout tells him not to drink to much, assuming, as town gossip stated, it was whiskey. Dill takes a sip and bursts out laughing. Scout thinks he’s drunk. No, actually Dill just drank a sip of Coke!!! Why, you might ask, would a supposed drunkard continue the rumors by drinking coke out of a paper sack? Well, Mr. Raymond actually does this so people feel he has a reason to live with the African-Americans. In fact he actually lives with them because they are nicer than the white people. He lives in the way of Atticus’ speech, blacks and whites together, in a fair, just community. Mr. Raymond is a symbol that there is still hope in that the words in Atticus’s speech will become reality.

  7. April 30th, 2012 at 8:07 pm      Reply michaelt10 Says:

    In this section, we continue with the trial of Tom Robinson. He is acused of abusing the eldest girl in the Ewell family, but he says he is innocent. At times, I can imagine that some people in the court may have been assuming that Tom was lying just because he was black. This reminds me a little of earlier in the novel, when Atticus shot the dog that was believed to have rabies. They had no evidence that the Dog actually was rabid, but they shot it just because it was acting funny. To me, the dog represents Tom. There is no real evidence that he committed the crime, but they are assuming he is guilty just because he was black.

  8. April 30th, 2012 at 8:10 pm      Reply sabrinak1 Says:

    I was very frustrated by the course of events that took place during the trialk. Mayella is obviously lying! She seemed uncomfortable when asked questions and started crying, not out of sadness, out of guilt for attacking the older man! She would be seen as a leper if people knew that she had tryed to be intimate with a lowly colored worker. It was an easy excuse for her to say he raped her because that made it seem like she had done nothing and got him away from her so she wouldn’t have to deal with the guilt if she saw him walking own the street. He is crippled in his arm proving that it would have been very strange and nearly impossible fo him to have caused the black eye she has. I am very interested in law cases and reading about them and this case annoys me and angers me so much! I think he is definatly a wronged man, he is in no way to blame. The jury though, would rather see him go to jail for something he didn’t do than let him free. They assume tha since he is black, he is obviously wrong and this cannot be true! I had a pretty visceral reaction to these chapters and I really hope Tom goes free! Also, I think the jury may not sway towards his free vote is because if they do, they seem wrong for having a ifferentopinion than the norm. If they convict him, every jury member may feel bad, but they know that it was ten other people who didn’t feel the same way and who swung the vote.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 8:13 pm      Reply nicolea4 Says:

      I agree with everything you wrote. Mayella is clearly lying, but most people would choose to take her side, since she is white. I really hope the jury looks at facts instead of skin color!

      • April 30th, 2012 at 11:26 pm      Reply nicholasm14 Says:

        Mayella is definitely lying. I think that her father beat her for kissing Tom Robinson and made her memorize the story so that it would seem that he is guilty. At certain points I even remember that she was going to say something, but then she looked at her father and said something completely different. I also really hope that the jury opens their eyes and sees that the only reason they think she is right is because she is white and Tom is black.

  9. April 30th, 2012 at 8:12 pm      Reply nicolea4 Says:

    In tonight’s reading, the trial continued and starts to come to a close with Atticus’s closing remarks about how skin color should be overlooked. There is a lot to be said about this part of the reading, but what I really found interesting was that Mr. Raymond is not who he appears to be. Learning from town gossip, the reader, and most of the characters in the book, assume he is a drunk. He always carries around a beverage in a paper bag. It is assumed that in this paper bag is whiskey, but really it is coca cola! We learn this when Scout takes Dill out of the courtroom because he was crying, Mr. Raymond offered Dill some of the liquid from his paper bag to soothe his stomach. Scout warned Dill not to drink too much of this “alcohol”, which is when we learn that soda was in the bag, and is always the drink that is in the paper bag. Scout asked why Mr. Raymond would portray himself as worse than he actually is. In reply to this, Mr. Raymond answered that it gives the people what they think is a reason as to why he lives with the African-Americans, when he is white. In reality, he chooses to live with the African-Americans because he enjoys it.

    • May 1st, 2012 at 8:44 pm      Reply sarahb5 Says:

      I agree with you. It was very interesting to find out how Mr. Raymond is not really who he appears to be.

  10. April 30th, 2012 at 8:13 pm      Reply kevinj3 Says:

    The court case continues! In these chapters, we get to see more of the trial about Tom Robinson, and corrupt judging by whites. Atticus, who is a white lawyer representing Tom Robinson, uses all of his power to make the jury see the absurdity of their outlook toward the importance of race. He even pushes Mayella to tears when he starts asking for the truth, “raining” questions onto her. Mayella stays by her, or her father’s word, still saying that Tom took advantage of her, and hit her. After her testimony, Atticus calls his witness, Tom Robinson, on to answer some questions. Mr. Gilmer, the other lawyer, brings up Tom’s past, referring to his jail time for disorderly conduct as further reason to make him guilty.

    The thing that stood out in this section was Link Deas, a white man who tries to help Robinson by saying he is a good man, having helped him for a long time, doing nothing wrong. It seems that he is not like other prejudiced men of the time. Another passage that stood out to me was when Tom was being grilled about what he did to Mayella Ewell, and eventually blurted out that he felt sorry for her. The people in the courtroom who hear this statement are shocked that a black could say such a thing, and this, among other things, will probably be his undoing. Harper Lee tries more to convey the inexplicably inferior class that blacks are forced to live in, lower then even white trash like the Ewells. At the end of the reading, I wonder why Calpurnia came in to the courtroom, she seems so out of place, being a black woman.

  11. April 30th, 2012 at 8:15 pm      Reply carlya1 Says:

    In these chapters, the trial of Tom Robinson continues. Atticus is defending Tom Robinson, a black man who is accused of sexual abusing the oldest Ewell child, Mayella. Mayella testified against him but kept changing her story and was unsure of a lot of things. Mr. Ewell testified as well. He too didn’t know much but when Tom Robinson took the stand, he had no problem going through stating thd facts of the so called attack. He said that he had been doing odd jobs for Mayella for years and she invited him to her house stated to hug him. He tried to stop her because it’s wrong and he knew he would get blamed and them Mr. Ewell showed up. He saw them through the window and Tom Robinson ran as fast as he could away from there. Tom has a limp left arm, which he couldn’t have used up bruise Mayella’s face. Atticus testified and disputed as much as he could so we will soon find out Tom Robinsons fate.

  12. April 30th, 2012 at 8:16 pm      Reply shianak3 Says:

    I found the trial to be very entertaining and intriguing. Most people I talked to said it was bored but I find things having to do with mysteries to be interesting so I enjoyed these chapters. After reading these chapters I came up with a conclusion of what happened. I believe that Tom is innocent, and that his story is true. Mayella was lonely and she kissed him but he was scared and didn’t know what to do so he tried to pull away but she wouldn’t let him. Than Mr.Ewell saw this and he assumed his daughter was trying to do it with the “Nigger” so he got angry and went to beat her, so that’s why she has the bruises. But then, Mayella didn’t want to be looked down on for trying to take a black man so she lied to her dad saying that he was trying to r**e her so her dignity wouldn’t be lost.
    I find Mayella to be an interesting character. She’s crazy but I think her actions are driven by her loneliness. In the novel, when Atticus asks her who her friends are, she gets flustered and angry having no answer. Tom Robinson was the only nice man to her and she felt at place with him. I don’t know if it was Scout or Jem who said this but one of them said how being a Ewell was like being Mr.Dubose’s kids (half black/ half white) because Mayella doesn’t fit in anywhere. She can’t be with whites because she’s poor and she can’t hang out with blacks because she’s not black. I agree with Jem/Scout because this definitely applies to her. What Mayella did was wrong, but not unreasonable. She followed her heart but denied it in the end afraid of losing her dignity. I don’t blame Mayella for hat she did, but I wish that she didn’t throw innocent Tom Robinson under the bus.
    Another thing that I found very interesting was Atticus’s conclusion at the end of the trial. I found the whole thing to be inspirational and eloquent. I would copy and paste it but it’s too long and I think that Tom Robinson should be let free. I don’t think this will happen because he is black and it not likely they will let a black man free of charges of raping a white woman, even if he’s innocent.
    Also, I find the Ewells to be very annoying and I don’t think it’s fair how they don’t do anything to help the society except coming to court to bring ridiculous cases that torment others.

  13. April 30th, 2012 at 8:25 pm      Reply johnw2 Says:

    I have discovered a new found respect for Atticus Finch. Atticus is one of the wisest hardest working men in any story I have ever read. Atticus is fighting for a man who is fighting the most impossible racial fight in the country. However this was not important to Atticus Finch. He wanted his client to get the truth told, so that Tom Robinson could be rightfully declared innocent. What Mr. Finch did was he work tirelessly day and night to prepare a very well planed defense to help salvage poor Tom Robinson’s life. As Atticus said the trial should never have been brought to the courtroom floor. The prosecution had no evidence other than hear-say, and two witnesses neither of which were very convincing, or factual. I personally think that Tom Robinson is innocent because of the fact that there was no evidence other than witnesses to back up the prosecutions points. Also the witnesses other than Tom Robinson all contradicted themselves at one point in the case. However I feel that the hard evidence may not be enough to save Tom Robinson’s life from the clutches of the racist jurymen. Poor Tom may be a victim to what centuries of racism and superiority has created.

  14. April 30th, 2012 at 8:29 pm      Reply elizabethp4 Says:

    Atticus is, in other words, a genius of a lawyer. He says all his words just right and doesn’t put a single hair out of place, and then his speech about how all men are equal – it should be enough to convince the jury that Tom Robinson is an innocent man. However, since people are very prejudiced against coloured men, the Ewell’s words will probably be taken over Tom Robinson’s. Mayella and her father’s story have a few holes in it, but since they’re white, the jury just might disregard those few facts and say that they are innocent. However, since Atticus is obligated both morally and legally to protect Tom Robinson, there might be a slight chance for Tom to be saved any years in prison. Why is Atticus obligated legally to protect Tom? Morally he explained – he couldn’t let an innocent man go to jail.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 10:44 pm      Reply leonl2 Says:

      I agree. In my opinion, I think it is worse morally for someone innocent to go to jail than for someone guilty to escape going to jail.

  15. April 30th, 2012 at 8:54 pm      Reply benjaminf Says:

    After just about finishing the part of the novel that takes place in the courthouse, I have learned and been surprised by a few things. First of all, when Mayella went up to the witness stand, she kept saying that Atticus was making her feel uncomfortable and afraid and she thought he was trying to trick her and her father. This made me think that she was guilty before more of the trial progressed, she was trying to make the jury think that Atticus was an evil man because she had realized that he was starting to win the jury over because he had them realize that Mr. Ewell was left handed and the right side of Mayella’s face was bruised which made it seem that only a left handed man would have been able to do that. If Mayella made the jury think that Atticus was an evil man then maybe they would feel bad for her and take her side for the case. I also thought that Mr. Raymond was smart to make everyone think that he was an alcoholic which made people feel bad for him and understand why he mixed the races and walked around like a crazy man because his wife shot herself in the head on the day of their wedding. It made him seem more understandable because one cannot imagine why someone would mix the races unless they were under the influence of alcohol in those days. This shows how much Mr. Raymond knows about people and how they can be influenced by little differences in people, this shows that Mr. Raymond is a smart man that knows a lot about psychology and brings up the worn out theme of not judging a book by its cover.

  16. April 30th, 2012 at 9:00 pm      Reply sharonm1 Says:

    In the chapters we read tonight, the reader sees Atticus continuing to defend Tom Robinson. The jury seems to understand that Tom Robinson is innocent and yet it seems that they will not vote in his favor because of his skin color. Even Atticus admitted that he knew he was going to lose the case, but took it because if he didn’t he felt he wouldn’t be setting a good example for his kids and he felt like he couldn’t hold his head up in town. During the Court case, Atticus gave a speech about how all men are created equal. He urged the jury to remember that although the Ewells are white, they were equal to Tom Robinson. This chapter really portrayed the racism of the era. It was pretty obvious that Mayella Ewell not telling the complete truth and people in the court room refused to believe that Tom did anything out of pure goodness or pity.

  17. April 30th, 2012 at 9:10 pm      Reply bridgetd1 Says:

    In chapters 18-20 both Mayella Ewell and Tom Robinson testify. I think that Tom Robinson is innocent because Mayella was very uncomfortable on the stand, refused to answer many questions, and was a little dramatic. Tom Robinson was nervous too but his was an innocent kind of nervous and he did not seem to be the lying type. Tom Robinson’s story seemed more believable than Mayella’s and he was much more cooperative. To be honest, the Ewells are annoying. It was also interesting how different Atticus is in court than at home or on the streets. He was intimidating and he took off his coat and unbuttoned his top buttons which Scout said he never did. Of course it was like 90 degrees outside but he gets very involved in what he is doing.

  18. April 30th, 2012 at 9:27 pm      Reply alwynp2 Says:

    I believe that Tom is innocent. Mayella had been asking him to do chores for her. Tom agreed because he felt sorry for her. Mayella tells the jury that she asked Tom to fix the hinges of the door and then he took “advantage” of her. Tom tells the jury that she did ask him to fix the hinge, but the hinges were in good condition. Then she asked him to reach for a box. She grabbed his legs, and then hugged him around the waist. She asked him to kiss her, and Tom refused. There is already evidence that left-handed person bruised Mayella, and a cotton gin accident messed up Tom’s left hand. Bob Ewell probably told Mayella to testify against Tom after he beat her.

  19. April 30th, 2012 at 9:40 pm      Reply harrisond1 Says:

    Throughout this reading, the court case continues. I found this segment of the court case to be very interesting. Atticus is defending Tom Robinson, an African-American accused of raping Mayella Ewell. Throughout this case, I’ve started to believe that Tom Robinson is the innocent one. When Mayella was being questioned, she seemed uncomfortable and unsure what to say the whole time. She even started crying, but still kept to her father’s belief that he raped her. Later in the case, Tom Robinson provided his part of the story. He said that in fact, she called him into the house, and she was beaten by her father for it because it was wrong. Also, Robinson’s arm is crippled, making it hard for him to hurt Mayella where she was bruised. Although there is plenty of evidence for Robinson’s side, the jury is still biased on race. I think that even though there’s a lot going for Robinson, he’s not safe because of the general contempt towards his race. I think if they had to choose between a black man or a white girl and her father, they would choose the latter, even if there was ample support for the first, purely based on racism. This court case has gotten much more interesting throughout these chapters.

  20. April 30th, 2012 at 9:46 pm      Reply anjuv1 Says:

    Reading chapters 18, 19, and 20, we see how the author progresses on in the Tom Robinson case. To the Ewells’ advantage, Tom looks like he committed the crime. Even though there is tons of evidence that show that Tom is innocent, many still want him to be the guilty man. Mayella, the oldest daughter of the Ewells, testified and seemed very awkward and nervous. She explained how Tom “took advantage of her” in her poor state and how it was his fault. In my opinion, I believe that Tom is innocent. It seems like Mayella’s dad is just making her testify that Tom did that to her. Also by the way she was very fidgety and unsure gave me this impression. The readers could tell that she was kind of holding back, not saying the whole story. Everyone, well most people, agree that Tom Robinson is guilty for the abuse of Mayella Ewell because in that time African- Americans were considered inferior and they weren’t valued as much as white people. It was easier to believe a “superior” white man than an “inferior” colored man.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 10:09 pm      Reply amandaj3 Says:

      I also believe that Tom is innocent. It’s just because he was African-
      American which made him look guilty even when the evidence is solid.

      • April 30th, 2012 at 10:42 pm      Reply leonl2 Says:

        I agree. I especially hated it when everyone reacted to Tom Robinson’s words of “I felt right sorry for her”. What the **** is wrong with that? So what if an African-American feels sorry for a white person? Any sane person would feel sorry for Mayella, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. She has no friends, and she doesn’t even know what the term “friends” means. To me, when you feel sorry for someone that means you understand and acknowledge their troubles and situation. The discrimination towards blacks is way too harsh. I despise every single bit of it.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 10:58 pm      Reply Autumn N. Says:

      I also think that Tom Robinson is innocent. I think that he was telling the truth. I think that he didn’t hurt Mayella because he would never want to do that, especially if he knows what kind of trouble that would cause him, and I do think that maybe he did like Mayella a little but he would NEVER take advantage of her like that.
      Leon, I also agree about the reaction to Tom’s pity for Mayella. When first reading it and then it said ‘the damage had already been done’, I didn’t quite understand. What damage? I didn’t really know what was so wrong with saying that. I would feel sorry for her too! Anyone would, it’s not wrong for Tom Robinson to feel sorry for Mayella. The poor girl doesn’t have any friends and lives in a dump with her abusive father and six other siblings doing nothing.

  21. April 30th, 2012 at 9:58 pm      Reply tylerf2 Says:

    Personally, I believe that Tom is as innocent as can be. But others do not believe so, just because he is African–American. But the facts and the evidence are beginning to add up. During the readings of these few chapters, we hear the testification of both Mayella Ewell and Tom Robinson. During the testimonies, we hear both peoples’ sides of the story. Mayella states that she asked Tom to fix the hinges, and that is when he took “advantage” of her. However, I do not believe that this is a truthful and trustworthy story, for the person giving it showed many signs of a guilty nervousness, such as refusing to answer a lot of questons and becoming dramatically emotional in the courtroom. This does not sound like what actually happened.

    Tom’s story seems to be of a different perspective, which I find to be more truthful. He states that Mayella did in fact ask him to fix the hinges, but the hinges were in good working condition. Then she asked him to grab a box and during the process, she hugged him around the waist and asked her to kiss her. But Tom refused and made a break for the door. However, she caught him and brought him back into the room against his will. Of course, he could have fought back and gotten out of there, but he did not want to harm Mayella Ewell in any way, shape or form. Next thing Tom knew he was running away from the house as fast as he could, as to get away from the threatening father. I believe this story to be more related to what actually happened, for Tom seems like the man who would tell the truth. However, even though he will tell the truth, people won’t believe him because of his skin color. They feel that blacks are lesser beings than them, and therefore make the opinion of a non-colored individual more believable than one of a colored individual. Also, I have found that in most books, the poorer folk seem to be more onest and willing to tell the horrible truth about things, but are not believed because they are apparently of a lesser social status. I believe that whether the jury believes it or not, Tom Robinson is innocent and was falsely accused of these crimes against the Ewell family.

  22. April 30th, 2012 at 10:02 pm      Reply innag2 Says:

    The chapters we read tonight were very interesting, and held me captivated. I couldn’t believe how preposterous the entire story that Mayella was telling the courtroom. It’s obvious that she’s making it up, and that nothing like that happened. It makes me mad of how it’s apparent that Mayella is making the story up, but because she’s white, and comes from a white family, her word is taken as the truth against the word of any colored person. Tom Robinson is a much better person then Mayella, and the Robinson’s are a much classier family then the Ewell’s will ever be. The Ewell’s are white trash, and the fact that the town, who gossips about how awful they are, would take their word for anything, makes me so mad. Either they’re white trash, and you don’t trust them and gossip about them, or they’re a regular white family, in which case there is nothing to gossip about in the first place. The people in Maycomb are such hypocrites! And racists. That combination is an awful one, and I think Atticus knows that, and tries to show them their wrongs, and how wrong it would be for them to convict Tom Robinson. But you can only lead a horse to water. Maycomb will never admit their flaws, and will probably stay like that for a very long time.

  23. April 30th, 2012 at 10:05 pm      Reply briannab3 Says:

    I was interested in the conversation that Scout and Dill had with Mr Raymond, after Dill had to leave the court room because he was sobbing. He explained to Scout that it just sickened him how Mr Gilmer talked to Tom with such disrespect and hatred. He acted as though he were so superior, and in reality most whites in the deep South acted that way. It had a huge impact on Dill, and he couldn’t control himself. Mr Raymond overheard them and offered Dill a drink from his bottle in a sack. Mr Raymond was known for living in isolation on his won riverbank among the Negroes; he liked them better than white folks. It was also said he had many Negro women and mixed children that were lonely forever because they didn’t belong anywhere. Mr Raymond was always drunk no matter when he was in town, but it was revealed that he only drank Coca Cola. He acted drunk to give people a reason for him to live the way he did, because no one would understand that it was his choice and he preferred to live that way. It was hard for Scout to grasp, but he told the kids to wait until they were a little older, and they would understand better, but for know, to realize why he chose to live in solitude with the Negroes, and act drunk was to go back in the courthouse. There they would see the prejudice and cruelness that took place between these two groups of human beings. HE said after a while, Dill would no longer cry when he saw such things take place, he just wouldn’t feel right. He would get used to the way the world treated people who were different. Mr Raymonds way of thinking and living his life and a big impact on me.

  24. April 30th, 2012 at 10:06 pm      Reply amandaj3 Says:

    In tonight’s reading of chapters 20, 21, and 22 of To Kill A Mockingbird, we finally realize Atticus’s true brilliance. He is wise, hardworking, and respectful. He is definitely one of my favorite characters in the novel, hands down. Atticus takes on one of the hardest cases in Maycomb and he is defending an African-American which was very uncommon. Atticus knew that there was a strong possibility of him losing the case but he accepted the challenge nevertheless — Atticus definitely has courage which makes him so admirable. I’m glad Scout looks up to him. He’s such a good role model.

    By tonight’s reading, I have a feeling that Tom Robinson is indeed innocent. But unfortunately for him, his color represents his future. I feel that Tom is being framed by Ewell and that he is secretly innocent. The only person that seems to believe in Tom is Atticus, maybe even Scout. But Scout doesn’t know the whole deal with the case since she’s only about eight years old. Ewell might be the guilty one in this case. I think that Ewell was actually the one that r-a-p-e-d Mayella and Tom might’ve caught him in the act, so Ewell accused Tom of r-a-p-i-n-g his own daughter. It’s actually pretty common for family members to r-a-p-e other family members, so this isn’t much of a surprise. That’s just my prediction. Poor Tom has to suffer just because he is African-American. Just because he is black. But that’s only his skin color. It shouldn’t have anything to do with the case but unfortunately it has an impact on the jury.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 10:07 pm      Reply amandaj3 Says:

      Oh another thing that interested me was the fact that Boo Radley is no longer really mentioned.

      What happened to Boo Radley?

      • April 30th, 2012 at 10:36 pm      Reply leonl2 Says:

        I don’t know, I think he will come back up again after all the court commotion dies down.

        Or who knows, he could just be a symbol from Scout’s childhood.

  25. April 30th, 2012 at 10:13 pm      Reply ashleys2 Says:

    Wow, this trial is getting more and more intense as it goes on! Chapter 18 began with Mayella Ewell’s telling of what happened that day. Mayella had never been in a courtroom before, let alone a situation that was this formal, so she was insecure and cautious when she first took the stand. As he testimony went on, she proved how uneducated she actually is. When Atticus was asking her questions, she thought he was mocking her by calling her “Miss Mayella” and “Ma’am”. Then she broke down crying during her testimony not once, but twice! Yes, it is a very emotional time when you are making statements, but she should have had some self control! If her strategy was to make the judge feel sorry for her, it worked for a bit but then even he and Atticus got fed up with her crying and the slow, unsure way she answered the questions. At the end of her statements when she gave Atticus a look of pure hate, he didn’t deserve that at all, because he was only doing his job.

  26. April 30th, 2012 at 10:16 pm      Reply lucyl2 Says:

    Something that I’ve picked up on while reading this novel is the meaning of being a gentleman. In Great Expectations, being a gentleman only applies to a man who is wealthy and categorized in a high class. Being a gentleman in that sense has nothing to do with personality. In To Kill A Mockingbird, being a gentleman is a term with a more flexible meaning. You can have money, and clothes, and a respected job, but that has nothing to do with being respected as a person. “It occurred to me that in their own way, Tom Robinson’s manners were just as good as Atticus’s.” (p.260) Atticus and Tom Robinson are very different. Atticus is a white lawyer. Tom Robinson is a black man that is being tried for r-a-p-e. Both men though, have the same manners, and would not dare hurt another human being. What is important is that other people, like Scout, also realize this, and respect both men. Going by this logic, that would not make someone like Pip (Great Expectations) a gentleman, because of how rude he was to the others around him. Joe would be a more likely pick because of his kind heart. Their persona makes them gentleman, not the amount of money in their wallets.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 10:35 pm      Reply leonl2 Says:

      I agree, and I like how you brought this up, as well as the reference to Great Expectations. I think Tom Robinson is a true gentleman.

  27. April 30th, 2012 at 10:32 pm      Reply leonl2 Says:

    Of course I found the court case to be extremely interesting, I would like to talk about Mr. Dolphus Raymond.

    Mr. Dolphus Raymond is one of those small, less-important characters. However, I think he teaches us a lot about society. For example, the people in Maycomb are so straight-minded that they think the way Mr. Raymond lives is crazy. Mr. Raymond understands this, so he goes with the flow to make it easier for the citizens to understand him. He pretends to drink beer. Of course acting under an influence explains everything to the citizens of Maycomb. They just can’t picture anyone doing what Raymond does while having a straight mind, but they are wrong. I believe Raymond is not the one with problems- it’s the society as a whole. It is the society that is making him drink Coca-Cola out of a Coca-Cola bottle while pretending it’s beer, and while he doesn’t seem to mind, nobody should be forced to be different from what they are. We shouldn’t just push aside other people’s actions or ideas just because they aren’t normal to us.

    I wonder if Tom will win the trial or not. What he said sounded like the truth to me. There is nothing absurd about it. To others however, it could seem like just lies. It was, after all, crazy for a white woman to fall in love with a black man. However, I can’t stand if the Ewells win the case just because they are white and Tom isn’t. It’s just so unfair. I hope Tom can actually win. I was convinced by what Atticus said, but I don’t know whether everyone else was.

    • April 30th, 2012 at 10:33 pm      Reply leonl2 Says:

      Sorry, I meant to say:
      Of course I found the court case to be extremely interesting, but I would like to talk about Mr. Dolphus Raymond.

  28. April 30th, 2012 at 10:53 pm      Reply Autumn N. Says:

    I thought that the court case was extremely interesting. I felt very sorry for Mayella, even though I’m pretty sure she falselly accused Tom Robinson. I know that she was just trying to protect herself from her father. If the verdict does prove the defendant ‘not guilty’ then I sure do hope that Bob Ewell doesn’t hurt her the way that he did when he found her kissing Tom Robinson.

    But that is not what I would like to focus on. Rather, I would like to focus on how Dill’s moral values are brought up in the readings. Dill begins to cry when Mr. Gilmer starts to treat Tom Robinson with disrespect. It upsets Dill that Mr. Gilmer is treating Tom Robinson like he isn’t another fellow human being. Mr. Dolphus Raymond says that is because society hasn’t caught up with Dill yet. Dill is still young and innocent and sees the good in everyone and isn’t entirely on board with the views of the rest of society. DIll still doubts that all black men are not to be trusted and although he is being taught this message, there is still a sliver of doubt there that keeps him innocent and true to his nature. Mr. Dolphus Raymond says that Dill will outgrow this sensitive character. As he gets older, the general opinion of the society will begin to become a part of Dill. The maltreatment of African-Americans will still create that small feeling in his stomach that makes him uncomfortable and says ‘this is wrong’ but he will not cry about it; he will keep these thoughts to himself until they are close to nonexistent. This little characteristic about Dill shows us that he is still a child and that he is still innocent. It reminds me of in The Outsiders when Johnny tells Ponyboy to ‘stay gold’. Ponyboy was still innocent, he wasn’t completely corrupted — I can’t think of a better way to say it than this — like the rest of the Greasers were. Johnny still wanted Ponyboy to stay this way. I think that it would be better for Dill to stay the way that he is now. His views are important and good ones. His morals haven’t yet been altered by those around him.

  29. April 30th, 2012 at 10:57 pm      Reply nikital Says:

    One matter that struck me interesting in tonight’s reading was Mayella Ewell’s predicament. As a witness in Tom Robinson’s trial, she was revealed to lead an unique, yet poor life. With seven siblings and an alcoholic father, the relief checks that come in barely support herfamily. Mayella left school after two or three years, after she had learned to read and write, to help her father. She has no friends to speak of, and in addition to this, when Atticus called her respectful titles like “Miss Mayella”, the eldest Ewell believed that he was mocking her. Though most likely the true guilty one in Tom Robinson’s trial, the reader does tend to evoke a measure of pity on the girl, who lacks dignity, friendship, an education, and, of course wealth.

  30. April 30th, 2012 at 10:58 pm      Reply amandaf2 Says:

    In chapters 18-20, Atticus continues his case for Tom Robinson. Atticus’ speech at the end of chapter 20 was inspiring. It was really touching and true. I hope that the jury is able to overlook the fact that Tom is African American, and prove him innocent. I also felt bad for Dill. He was crying because of the way that Mr. Gilmer was treating Tom Robinson. He thought that it was wrong and unfair that he was treated like garbage and was talked back to. Dill was so sensitive because he had just run away because he felt neglected and was mistreated at his house. Mr. Raymond was very kind to Dill and Scout. He comforted them and gave Dill some coca-cola. It surprised me that he was never really drinking whiskey, and that it was really soda. I found it interesting that he said that people would accept the way that he lives if they think that he is a drunkard and has no better direction, whereas if he was sober people may not accept his lifestyle.

  31. April 30th, 2012 at 11:16 pm      Reply nicholasm14 Says:

    In tonight’s reading we were taken deeper into the Tom Robinson case. These chapters are filled with numerous interesting passages. Mayella Ewell testified to the court basically as reinforcement for what her father had said. I actually noticed that during some parts of her testimony, she would stop to say something, but look at her father and say something else. This reinforces the theory that Tom Robinson was innocent and Bob Ewell was the one who beat her. Her testimony also gave hints that she was guilty because she intentionally tried to get the court to sympathize with her by making Atticus seem like an evil man who was intimidating and mocking her. She did this as the case began to shift toward the reality of Tom Robinson actually being innocent. We are given two incredibly different sides of the story of what happened. Mayella said that Tom Robinson did some work for her and as she was going to pay him, he attacked her and r-a-p-e-d her. Tom said that he did tasks for her over a long period until she asked him to do some work inside her house. Tom went on to talk about the fact that he did these things for her free of charge because he felt sorry for her due to the fact that she was so lonely. Once inside, she kissed Tom and he ran as soon as Bob Ewell came in and saw him with his daughter. Mayella’s side of the story really just sounded like something that her father made her remember, while Tom Robinson’s side of the story seems more real. Who is actually right? We will have to read on. However, it seems more likely that Tom is right and that Mayella’s bruises came from her father beating her for kissing a Negro.

    Two characters that stood out to me in these chapters were Mayella and Mr. Raymond. Mayella is similar to Curley’s wife in Of Mice and Men. They only do these crazy things because of how lonely they are. Curley’s wife flirted with other men because her husband isolated her and she was so lonely. Mayella got no love or help from her father or her siblings, and along with the fact that she had no friends she was driven to do what no woman at the time would do: kiss a Negro. Mr. Raymond was only mentioned briefly in a conversation with Scout and Dill, but we learned a lot about him. He wasn’t actually an alcoholic, but he appeared to be so because it made people understand why he lived the way that he did. He taught us how people are so narrow-minded that they think that anybody who doesn’t live like everyone else is crazy, and that they are too ignorant to understand it is ok to live differently compared to everyone else. They can’t grasp why he lives differently, so he pretends to be an alcoholic so that they can blame all of his eccentricities on alcohol.

    Atticus ends with a great speech about the equality of men, and this contributes to the fact that he is an absolutely amazing lawyer. While his speech alone should have been enough to prove that this case was based solely on racial prejudice and that Tom Robinson was innocent, these people are extremely prejudiced against colored people and therefore believe the Ewells’ side of the story because they are white.

  32. April 30th, 2012 at 11:42 pm      Reply Anton Says:

    I found the section with Mr. Raymond interesting. After Mr.Gilmer begins cross examining the witness’s stories his “way,” Dill begins to cry disgusted at how he was treating Tom. Mr. Raymond is commonly believed to be a drunk lowlife, who cannot do anything for myself. He however explains to the children, who are still innocent and young, that he in reality likes life as it is, and feigns alcoholism so that people don’t judge him for his preferred lifestyle. He seems to almost be the moral sense when it comes to racism and such. He married an African-American and is open about his children being half white, and half black. This shows that he doesn’t care much for the social protocol of the time, and believes in complete equality. The reason I believe Mr. Raymond trumps Atticus in equality, is that Atticus holds injustice towards a socially lower class unfair. This is true. However, the way Mr. Raymond explains it, Atticus believes that the fact that this is unfair makes it worse than if the an African-American convicted a white of something they did. What happens here is Atticus so strongly rejects racism against African-Americans that he begins to lose equality again, although the other way. Mr. Raymond believes that everyone is equal in every sense, not subjective to general stereotypes, or unfairness.

  33. May 1st, 2012 at 8:15 am      Reply anthonym9 Says:

    I thought that Mr. Raymond is a very interesting man. He wanted to pretend that he was a drunk, but he was really only drinking coke. I found this interesting because he didn’t even like to drink! He doesn’t like when he is judged on his lifestyle and he appears to be a non-racial person. He hates prejudice people and that is one reason he married an African-American. He thinks that the color of your skin doesn’t matter.
    Another interesting part was Atticus’s speech. He explained about racism, which is unheard of at this time because everyone was racist. He explained many topics that are wrong in this town. Atticus is truly a great man. He said that this whole case was just because it was a black man and a white woman. He aso almost told the court that if Tom was considered guilty that it was a shame on them.

  34. May 1st, 2012 at 9:03 pm      Reply sarahb5 Says:

    I think these three chapters were all very exciting and they were very intense with the trail going on. What I found most interesting though, was when Dill started to cry. At first I thought that it was just to much for him to take and he started to feel overwhelmed. Then I thought that maybe it just reminded him of himself because Tom was different and nobody wanted to stand up for him just like Dill was different because he didn’t have any parents and no one wanted him so he just got passed around from relative to relative. Then we find out that Dill is appalled by the way that they are treating Tom Anyway, when Scout took Dill outside, they found Mr. Raymond and start talking to him. Mr. Raymond heard Dill crying and told him to take some of his drink because it will help calm his stomach. Everyone always assumes that he is drinking alcohol all the time because he hides his drink in a paper bag and he is always drunk. Once Dill takes a sip, he realizes that it is really just coke and that is all Mr. Raymond really drinks. He tells Scout and Dill that he is rarely ever drunk he just pretends to be. When they ask him why he makes himself look worse than he actually is purposely, he tells them that it is easier for everyone else to believe that he is just a hopeless drunk than try to accept his lifestyle of living with his African- American family. I found this to be very strange because if he was brave enough to defy society and marry a colored woman and raise a half black family, then he shouldn’t have cared what other people thought. He should have held his head high and be proud of his family instead of pretending to be drunk and hiding behind that lie.

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