The Death of Tom Robinson

Explain briefly how Tom Robinson was killed. What is Atticus’s explanation for Tom’s attempted escape? Do you believe that Tom Robinson truly tried to escape? Explain why the following quote by Scout is significant with respect to the death of Tom Robinson:

“Had I been attentive, I would have had another scrap to add to Jem’s definition of background, but I found myself shaking and couldn’t stop. I had seen Enfield Prison Farm, and Atticus had pointed out the exercise yard to me. It was the size of a football field.” (Chapter 24)


84 responses to “The Death of Tom Robinson

  1. Tom Robinson was killed when he was in the exercise yard running around in circles. The guards said that he was killed when he was trying to climb over the fence to escape.

    I don’t believe that Tom was trying to escape. I think that the guards, who were probably white, decided that they should just shoot Tom when they had the chance, and this was the perfect opportunity for them to kill Tom. Most white men wanted to get to Tom Robinson, and they thought that he was guilty of rape. The guards probably didn’t consider Tom as a person, and they believed that they were superior to him. They wanted to show their power over Tom Robinson and the African Americans during this time by killing him.

    Scout’s quote is significant because it describes how the exercise yard seemed so large scaled, but the prisioners probably thought that this was a very small area because they would never be able to leave the prision again and walk around the outside of the prision.

  2. So how does the size of the exercise yard prove that he (Tom Robinson) was killed by the guards?

  3. I think that it means that he was obviously followed by the guards. It would be very hard to be able to single out one person in the big area that they were in. The guards knew that Tom was a black man, and they knew where he was. This was the perfect timing for them to get revenge on Tom.

  4. Exactly what Sponik4 had said, Tom was murdered by the guards in his holding facility because they thought he was trying to escape. I see to it that Tom was not trying to escape, that the guards had made some kind of an excuse to justify there murder. Because Tom was black he had all the racial and hatful discrimination of that era. The guards themselves were awful to Tom and decided to kill him due to the color of his skin..

  5. Relating to the question that Mr. T had asked and sponik4 had responded too, indeed Tom was being followed. He was a black man of that time! Of course he had no freedom! Even though the laws were cut segregation started to end, in people’s minds it never ended! The officer’s of law and guards especially were racists and didn’t need revenge on Tom. They were doing a hate act and knew that they would get away with it.

  6. Refering to scouts quote, she thought it was big but didnt realize or understand that when you’ve been living there for 10, 20 years or so, it becomes a tiny piece of property that you have explored every corner of.

  7. So … why was scout shaking and couldn’t stop?

  8. I believe that she was shaking and couldn’t stop because she has just witnessed the unjustice in this world. She was just a little girl, and now she is really seeing that the world is not as safe as she thought. I think she was just taken back by the whole thing; this was probably the only way that she could deal with the problem that she was having inside herself.

  9. Scout was shaking and couldn’t stop because when she heard of Tom Robinson’s death the cruelty of the world was placed before her. Tom’s false conviction showed her the racism of the South, but Tom’s death in the prison yard showed her that the guards were waiting for Tom to make one small mistake, at which time they would kill him. Scout could not fully understand what brings someone to kill another because of their skin, and she began to shake from a combination of hatred and sorrow.

    Also, on what page does it say he was running in circles in the excercise yard?

  10. Responding to Mr. T’s question and sponik4’s response about Scout shaking, I believe that by her growing up and living in Maycomb she is really sheltered. It is a small town and so far in her life she has not experienced and barely seen anything as unfair as the trial and as horrible as the death of Tom Robinson. She is still really young and I believe this situation is really overwhelming for her and somewhat scared her especially because her dad was involved. I think it awakened Scout’s views of not only Maycomb but also all of the harsh racial discrimination during this era.

  11. Did Tom Robinson make any mistakes? Is he at fault in any way? Is he truly as innocent as a mockingbird?

  12. Tom Robinson was killed in the prison yard when he was running/excercising. The guards said he broke into a blind raving charge at the fence and started cilmbing over. Then he was shot 17 times. Atticus’s explanation for Tom’ s escape was that he was tired of white men’s chances and preferred to take his own. I do think Tom was trying to escape becuase right before he was sent to prison he spoke with Atticus. Atticus tryed to reasure him and tell him that everything is going to be okay but he replied,”Good-bye, Mr. Finch, there ain’t nothin you can do now, so there ain’t any use tryin’.” He tried to put his fate in his own hands. Scout was shaking becuase she thought back to what Jem said when Miss Maudie was talking in the kitchen. She realized that their were only a handful of people in town who wanted Tom’s innocence. Scout finally figured out the truth of her town and was overcome by emotion, so she began to shake.

  13. Tom did make one huge mistake in my opinion. He lost hope. Tom did not think anymore that he could win the case when he was sent to another prison. He didnt think Atticus could help him any more and tryed to esacpe.

  14. Tom Robinson was shot 17 times? That is more than 50 Cent, Tupac, and Biggie combined!

  15. I agree with hsingh that Tom lost hope and could count on white man’s justice to save him. However, I think the amount of times he was shot, shows that the guards obviously were not trying to stop Tom from escaping but wanted him dead. The guards could have stoped firing after one or two shots because it would have been apparent Tom couldn’t continue escaping.

  16. I agree with hsingh4 Tom did seem like he lost some of his hope after he was convicted of this “crime”. It was probably hard when he had to go on the trial, and he knew that it would be unlikely that he would be innocent. I think that it would be the hardest thing to do in life to keep hope when you know that you were in jail for something that you didn’t do for the rest of your life. I can’t imagine how much strength and courage it would take for a person to keep on doing daily things knowing that you would never be able to do what you used to do, like go to the store or see your family when you want to.

  17. Tom was shot 17 times not because they were unsure of his death, but most likely because the guards thought he deserved it or they were taking out their anger on him, dead or alive.

    In response to whether or not Tom is innocent as a mockingbird or if he made any mistakes, I believe he did not and he is as innocent as a mockingbird. All Tom did was help out around the town, at his job and at home, and he assisted Mayella Ewell because she did not have any help. In return he was accused of rape, assault, and was falsely convicted and sentenced to death. He did nothing but help others and in return was killed. It was not his fault but the fault of Mayella Ewell, Bob Ewell, and the bigoted jury.

  18. I think that Tom did something that could be very reasonable during that time period. I can see why people would think he was making a mistake by running but it seemed to me that he had just lost hope and knew that there was only a small amount of people who actually wanted him to be free. He had already been through so much before and during the trial that he was at the point of being stuck in a real tough situation both physically and mentally. I think he knew the two outcomes of the aftermath of running which was either to be free or dead and when it came down to it, he would choose either of those over being stuck in prison where he was treated unequal and looked down upon greatly.

  19. After the trial Atticus spoke with Tom Robertson trying to consol him, telling him that everything will work out and not to worry about it. However when Tom left for prison he must have mad up his mind knowing there will never be a change in outcome. Tom was desperate and did the only thing he thought of, tried to escape. He was shot 17 times and was pronounced dead.

  20. I completely agree with what dbevier said about the guards shooting Tom, too much. I feel that the guards all knew about the case and since he was an African American during that time, the guards wanted any excuse to kill him. Shooting a man 17 times is a lot and I highly doubt that he was that Hulk like to need that many. To me, it was more like they were hunting, not trying to stop him.

  21. If you were to put yourself into Tom Robertson’s shoes what would you do? Would you also try to escape or trust Atticus and be patient why he tries and get you free? Remember you are a black during a time of very high discrimination and prejudice, think about how you would be treated the entire time you were in prison.

  22. Another thing, wouldn’t you think that someone, maybe another guard, might see and say something? If i was a guard that wasn’t involved, I would definitely say something. I just can’t believe that someone would do that, even thought there are probably cases of the same thing that go unnoticed today.

  23. To be honest, I do not think that Tom actually tried to escape. There are many other explanations for this incident and all of them lead to murder. For instance, one almost solid explanation is, the guards probably took him out and shot him and left him out there to make it look like he was trying to escape, because if he was escaping, with one arm remind you, how could he climb up the fence that fast, and without getting shot there? Why did they wait until he was over the fence to shoot him? The whole thing is just sort of mucky to me.

  24. I completely agree with cshaeffer4. Tom was a total loyal, and innocent man, somewhat compared to a mockingbird. He recognized Mayella’s problems unlike the rest of the huge Ewell family and tried to make her life better. It just so happens that he got trapped in a bad situation and she happened to be a very disgusting person to stab him in the back. This does nothing but illustrate to us readers the harsh cruelty and unbelievable unfairness that the african americans of this time had to experience.

  25. That is an interesting way to put it jtrusler but I agree they seemed to be hunting and not attempting to stop Tom. They definitely had malicious intent and saw his attempt to escape as a chance to kill him and blame it on him at the same time. I believe the guards were just biding their time, treating Tom terribly, and basically forcing him to try to run away, at which time they shot him 17 times. The 17 shots shows that they did not attempt to stop him, but they either planned the shooting or decided on the spot that Tom would not live another minute.

  26. In response to dbevier4, if I was Tom in this time period I would do exactly what he did in the book. African Americans of this time did not get the same caring for as they do today. The prison life for them was miserable. He knew that he had Atticus who completely supported him but that was one out of a lot of people who downed him. I would not want to wait anymore if I were him; I would want to see if I could escape my problem by running or die by gunshot because I would know that I would suffer a hard, probably short life anyway if I were to stay in the jail.

  27. So … Tom Robinson broke into a blind raving charge at a fence, in an exercise yard that is the size of a football field and started climbing over with one arm? Amazing!!!!!!

  28. Jet,

    Why would the guards want to kill a mockingbird … I mean Tom Robinson? He is such an innocent, respectful family man. I don’t understand why they would do such a thing.

  29. This is pretty neat!

    Anyways, Tom Robinson was running around in circles excercising in the prison yard. he was killed when he was trying to escape by climbing over a fence. plus, he was shot 17 times i believe.
    i dont think that Tom Robinson was trying to escape. however, i’m still really confused about this. i believe that the prison guards were desperate white men; all of them wanting to kill Tom Robinson. anybody have a solid proof that Tom actually tried to escape on purpose?

  30. The guards killed Tom Robinson because he was black and they were racist against black people. To them it did not matter that he respected others or that he had a family. To them, he was a black man accused of raping a white woman and for that they felt they could punish him. It is possible that Tom was merely by the fence at the time he was shot or that they carried him to the fence after shooting him, nobody but the guards and other inmates know for sure. It was the trial all over again, no real evidence is provided but due to a lack of reliable witnesses the black man was at fault, and in this case he was insane and attempted to climb a fence with his one good arm. If a southern citizen was to read a summary of the trial and prison shooting but did not know Tom was black, the person would most likely have believed the whole thing to be ludicrous and would be in disbelief that something this terrible was allowed to happen.

  31. Just like mostly everyone else said, I do not believe Tom Robinson was trying to escape. He was killed because of the color of his skin and that only. The story of Tom trying to escape was just a cover up for the murder the the guards commited.
    I dont really have a full understanding on the qoute.

  32. Hey Mr. T im doing well. How are you? Also the novel To Kill a Mockingbird is a good book but its not my kind of book.

  33. I think since the yard was so big he had to have been being followed by the guards. And they had to know where he was at all time because it was a big yard and there were others. They killed Tom Robinson because he was black and they wanted him dead.

  34. I find it hard to believe that Tom Robinson was actually trying to escape, but moreover the guards wanted it to seem that he did. Tom was at fault for the simple reason he was a black man. Being a black man injustice was served once again.

  35. As I have been reading through the comments of my classmates, I agree with the racial tensions between Tom and the guards. The guards knew about the trial, they knew he was in there for “raping” a white woman, but I believe the guards had some thought that Tom was an innocent man. It was a disgrace to have a black man have a chance at winning this case did not please them. The guards took it into their own hands to take care of Tom, that Tom may not show the equality between a black man and a white woman. Killing Tom Robinson, the guards eliminated the problem of people believing that a black man like Tom Robinson was innocent of the crime he was blamed for.

    Another idea I had was that maybe Tom really was trying to escape that day, and he wanted to get caught. Tom had told Atticus he had given up hope in his life after his trial. Locked up, Tom was treated terribly because he was black. I belive Tom was willing to die rather than stay in jail and wait for a verdict he already knew was guilty. Tom knew he could not escape climbing over a fence with a busted arm. If the guards were telling the truth about Tom escaping, I believe Tom was ready to abolish the trial that had already ruined his life.

    I do not usually like the books I have to read for school, but this book is definitely an exception. After the first couple chapters I was hooked on the book. I have really enjoyed reading this book.

  36. Mr. Thomas, I am doing good, and just waiting for school to be over. I feel that the novel To Kill A Mockingbird is a little drab, but it has its moments of intensity. Considering I am not much of a book reader in the first place, i would put this novel in front of the A Raisin in the Sun, and The Great Gatsby though.

  37. How has Jem matured in the recent chapters? How has Scout matured in the chapters? How does scout see the women of Maycomb?

  38. After the trail Tom must have made the decision that he knew would end his life. He didnt trust the white man’s judicial system, though he knew himself he was innocent, he saw no point in waiting for a verdict that is most likely fatal. In the exercising yard at his prison, according to Atticus, Tom tried to escape but was shot seventeen times.

    I personally dont thing Tom was trying to escape from prison but escape from the reality of his situation. He knew the judicial system was still ingrained with racial prejudice and saw no point in waiting for his official death sentence.

    Scout realizes that the size of a football field may look big to a free man, but to a prisoner it is only a few yards of an entire world.

  39. to chads questions,

    During the book, especially throughout Tom’s trial, Jem and Scout have been exposed to all of the prejudice people of Maycomb and have realize that they aren’t just in their “little kid” world where everything is perfect and everyone likes eachother. They understand and know the real world now and it’s too late for them to go back to living their worry-free way of life; it was time for them to grow up and face society’s imperfections.

  40. to mr. t,

    I think Tom is as innocent as a mocking bird. After all, all mocking birds do are sing for you and help you get through your day. All Tom did was help Mayella with her chore because he was a respectable gentleman, but he was punished because of Mayella’s lonely/confused/unloving life.

  41. To Chad’s question:

    I think Jem has matured pretty much throughout this entire book, he went from being a careless kid to actually thinking about what he is doing, and taking pride in his own wisdom.

    I think Scout does not really begin to mature until the end of chapter 24 when she says ” if Aunty could be a lady at a time like this, so could I.” This is when it becomes evident, at lease to me, that Scout is going to try become a lady like everybody has been telling her to. Scout sees the women of Maycomb as women who just kind of sit around and talk, she even says that their “business” bores her.

  42. To Mr. T’s question about Scout shaking:

    I really think Scout was shaking because first, she became so involved and aware of what happened with the trial of Tom Robinson, and when they lost she and Jem were both devestated, and thought it was completely unfair, although there was still a chance that it would get worked out, and Tom could get off. But now that he had been killed in a cruel way, I think she was shocked. Scout was also exposed to reality, and seen got a glimpse of the way things are outside the “Maycomb bubble” and that in itself is hard to hear about especially at her age.

  43. In response to Mr Thomas’ question about Tom Robinson (Mockingbird) being killed, I think it had to do with the racial discrimination during this time period. And they had no respect for Tom Robinson at all. He was looked at as a criminal even if it was extremely obvious that he was innocent.

    Mockingbirds in this book were described as the one thing that Jem could not shoot at because they were innocent; all Mockingbirds do is sing and brighten peoples days. All Mr. Robinson was trying to do is help out somebody in need and for that he should not have been punished or killed.

  44. mkarickhoff4

    Hey Mr. Thomas,

    I had always heard of To Kill A Mockingbird but I never really knew what it was about. I am glad we are reading it. I’m not sure if I like The Great Gatsby or this book better.

    p.s. we all miss you in class.

  45. jessicaanderson4

    Explain briefly how Tom Robinson was killed. What is Atticus’s explanation for Tom’s attempted escape? Do you believe that Tom Robinson truly tried to escape? Explain why the following quote by Scout is significant with respect to the death of Tom Robinson:

    In response to Mr.Thomas’ question about Toms death and him trying to escape, I personally believe Tom was not trying to escape. In To Kill a Mockingbird, Tom represents the black race in Maycomb. During this time period, blacks were not treated equal as whites and I believe the reason of Toms death was not him trying to escape from jail, but really because the color of his skin. Having a black man even be on trial to see if he is guilty or not guilty was a disgrace for the people. When the white guards tell the people of Maycomb that Tom was killed when he was trying to escape, of course the majority of people would believe the white guards over a black man accused of rape. The reason I find it hard to believe Tom escaped is becuase the quote Scout says in Chapter 24 “Had I been attentive, I would have had another scrap to add to Jem’s definition of background, but I found myself shaking and couldn’t stop. I had seen Enfield Prison Farm, and Atticus had pointed out the exercise yard to me. It was the SIZE OF A FOOTBALL FIELD.” I emphasize the “size of a football field” because Tom Robinson is known as a nice man throughout the book, up until the raping. Any man with a brain would know you would not make it out of jail alive if you tired to escape over a fence in a excerice yard that is as large as a football, and expect not to be shot. The guards claim Tom Robinson was killed trying to escape. But the true fact here is, Tom was a innocent black man and was shot by the guards while he was running around in circles in the excercise room.

  46. i think that my question is answered by my fellow classmates. the white guards did kill tom robinson on purpse! the killing had to do with racism and hatred especially because this novel takes place during racial discrimination.

  47. jessicaanderson4

    My questions for my classmates:

    Had Tom Robinson been a Caucasian man, do you believe he still would have been accused for rape? If so, do you believe this trial happened all merely for the color of Mr. Robinsons’ skin?

  48. hi mr. thomas! how are you? i’m doing great! to tell you the truth, i never started your painting yet. but i’ll definitely have it done by the time you come back to oak ridge.

    everyone: i have a hard time understanding why that one quote by scout is significant. help?

  49. Responding to Mr. Thomas’ question about Tom Robinson being killed, I think that he was not killed for trying to escape, but from escalated racial tensions that were released against Tom from the white guards.

    I think that the evidence that Atticus used in Tom’s favor proved that he was not guilty but since the jury was all white, it was inevitable that he would be convicted. I think that the guards wanted him dead because since the civil rights movement was going on, they didn’t want anybody to believe that he was a good man and shot him while blaming the death on an attempted escape.

    In opposition to the reason behind Tom’s death, he could have very well tried to escape to avoid the prison sentence and may have rather died then gone through that.

  50. jessicaanderson4

    Mr Thomas,

    I’ve been doing great, although english is not nearly as exciting as it used to be. I’m hoping if we have a final in you class, you can come in and do jeopardy with us? Maybe throw in some extra heavy rotations?

    Well To Kill a Mockingbird is a great book, probably one of my favorite books we’ve read. I think The Great Gatsby beats it by a little though. At first to Kill a Mockingbird was a little slow, but once it got to the trials I really started to like it.

    Well I hope all is well and Jackson is doing ok.


    p.s. I your infamous rap with mr.arenes, it’s fantastic (and its probably been on every one of your students myspace pages).

  51. jessicaanderson4

    i heard*

  52. In response to Mr. Thomas’ question to Jet, “Why the guards would want to kill a mocking bird… I mean Tom Robinson?” Mockingbirds in the book were described as innocent and Atticus told Jem that she could not shoot one because of it. Mr. Robinson was an innocent helpful man but unfortunately he was black in a time and place where that was not acceptable. As we learned in the book, even if all evidence pointed to a white man committing a crime during this time in Maycomb, if the person that was against him was black, the white man would be innocent. To kill an innocent man who is put on the earth but not accepted, is like an innocent mockingbird who is irritating someone from its singing. Someone would just want to shoot it or kill it when that’s not the answer. They’re innocent and not bothering anybody. It shows how narrow-minded people can be towards things that won’t harm you but they are unable to accept that they can do some good.

  53. mkarickhoff4

    Tom Robinson is killed during the excerise hours at Enfield Prison. The guards said they saw him running away and starting to climb up the fence. So they shot him 17 times….ouch. Atticus also said he heard that the guards sent off warning shots but it is hard for me to believe that. I think it could have been a good reason for them to kill Tom. Especially with all the racial tension of the time.

  54. mkarickhoff4

    Reffering to the quote: If I was in Scouts shoes at the time, I would probably be shaking as well. I think it was sad for her because she knows he was innocent and did not deserve to be in jail in the first place. I’m not sure if there is significance in the football field, but if there is can someone help me out. Thanks.

  55. I agree with Sammy’s comment concerning Tom Robinson being a mockingbird. Tom was really just put into a horrible situation to help Mayella get through her daily life. It seems as though she had almost planned the attack out before hand.

  56. Again I am agreeing with Sammy, but about a different comment. I believe that Scout was shaking first of all because she had been exposed to the reality of Maycombs hate but, i also feel she was shaking because of other reasoning. Scout felt she was old enough to do big girl things, but when it came to the saddening death of Tom she realized that it was a lot more difficult for her to grow up than she had imagined.

  57. Tom Robinson died when he was in the exercise area of the jail. They claimed he was running away and climbing a fence with his crippled arm? How does this make sense? I doubt it was the way the guards really handled the situation. I think most of the situation was built up upon the racial tension of what was going on in Maycomb at the time.

  58. The guards said tat Tom Robinson was trying to escape, and that is why they shot him. Although I do not believe that Tom Robinson was trying to escape. I believe that Tom was killed because he was black and that a rape charge was brought against him. This was a perfect opprotunity to kill him while they could come up with an excuse.

    Back in that time period whitemen killed black men all the time. There was a group called the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) which consisted of thousands of black men who wanted to wipe the black race from the earth by killing them in any way possible. The most popular way was lynching.

    But in To Kill A Mockingbird, these men killed Tom because he was another black who “committed a crime against a white woman.” But the funny thing was that it was not a crime for a white woman to kiss a black man.

  59. To the question about Scout shaking.

    I think that throughout the book Scout has really matured a lot, even though she does not think she has. When she gets the news that Tom Robinson is dead, she cannot believe the cruelty of the men in their society.

    Scout and Jem were both completely involved in the Tom Robinson case and knew everything that was going on. When they lost case both Scout and Jem were both completely devestated. This is the first time that Scout and Jem have been invlved in any of the trials. This trial really impacted Scout and Jem because they knew that Tom Robinson was innocent and there was not enough evidence saying that Tom was guilty. The only evidence was that Heck Tate, Bob and Mayella Ewell said that Tom beat and raped Mayella.

  60. When I was reading, I did not feel Atticus believed Tom tried to escape. He seemed to only follow the story in an effort to cushion Jem and Scout’s hearts. Coming from such a protected environment, they would not have been able to understand why a white man would want to shoot and kill someone who has already been punished by being put in jail. However, it is understandable that Tom might have given up on the white man’s “fair trial”. If he had known a more fair trial was approaching, he would not have tried to escape.

    I like Megan’s point about the football field. She mentioned that it may seem like a large area from Scout’s point of view, but as a prisoner, it is the four walls where they will spend the rest of their lives confined. I had not thought about it in this way before, and I think Megan makes an excellent point.

    As for the book in general, it has definitely not been a favorite of mine. The beginning was so slow, that it is only in these last ten chapters when the story actually takes off. It also seemed to change directions once Tom Robinson’s case had appeared. I thought the main focus before was on Boo Radley, but he seems to seldom appear and only to support the difference between the sheltered city of Maycomb and the remaining complicated world. I am curious, though, to see how it will play out in the next six chapters since the trial climax has ended.

  61. I personally believe that Tom Robinson’s death had absolutely nothing to do with his own actions. The time period in which he lived in was the complete cause of his death in my eyes. Without the racist views of the people during that time he would have never been convicted of the rape towards Mayella in the first place, and would have never had to indure the experiences that ended up taking his life. In addition to all of this, how does a man with a cripled arm climb a fence in order to, “escape?” I this this will be the begining of a new court case for Atticus and will hopefully turn the minds Maycomb away from the racial ways they have grown to learn.

  62. Im not sure if anybody has brought this up or if i am completely off topic by saying this, but does anybody think that the jailyard is a symbol of somekind for the persecution filled world that Tom Robinson lived in Maycomb.
    Speculation is the only evidence in the rape case and his attempted escape, so maybe the jailyard he is actually trying to leave represents the life and existance that he is sick of and is trying to escape.

  63. To Chad comments

    Jem has matured a great deal in the recent chapters, and has told Scout to mature a little more and act more like a lady, i think he is understanding more now.

    Scout has also matured a great deal and it seems that she has taken more notice to things that seem more important .

    My thoughts on the book, it is not been very interesting some parts have been rather dull and boring. However, when the trails started it become more interesting and I wanted to know what happened. I also agree with Dori in the fact that Boo Radley was in most of the begining of the book, but as the readers we have not heard anything from him in a long time, he kind of disappeared

  64. As a question to everyone else…

    If Tom Robinson had not been in the exercise yard that point and time what would have become of him? Do you think the guards would have attempted to come after him later on in his stay there? Was he just in the wrong place at the wrong time? Let me know what you think!

  65. i would like to make comment to tspencer’s statement about tom robinson’s attempt to climb the fence. that is a very good point. how could one possibly attempt to scale a prison fence with a gimp arm. Either the guards just told the tale because they wanted to kill Tom Robinson, or maybe, Robinson simply had a deathwish and did not wish to sit through various appeals and waiting for the eventual exicuton.

  66. in response to mr. t’s comment about Tom Robinson being similar to the mockingbird. That is of course very true. I never before thought of it in that way. I may be comepletley wrong but isn’t Maycomb basically killing a mocingbird. A peaceful, happy unbothersome creature for no reason other than the fact that the outside world looks down upon acceptance.

  67. jgallagher4

    I believe that Tom was trying to escape because he was frustrated with an unfair trial. I can understand why he is frustrated he did absolutely nothing wrong yet he is being placed in prison and is probably going to die. I think he was just frustrated and tried to escape and didn’t make it.

  68. Mr Thomas….

    How have you and little baby Jackson been? I am sure he is already gaming up for the NBA as we speak;). To Kill a Mokingbird has been a great book, and although in the begining it was hard to get into by the end with the intensity of the trial it was hard to put the it down. Anyways I must say the entire classes misses you a ton and hopes you will be back here making fun of all us again very very soon! So hurry back okay; I want to hear some raps in person!

  69. bhunsaker4

    It was said that Tom Robinson was killed while he was trying to escape from the prison during an excerise time. Atticus’s explanation was that Tom had given up all hope on the white mans justice system. He wanted to put matters into his own hands which made him run for it. It made sense that Tom tried to escape to me. After all Atticus had made it clear in court that he was innocent but he was still convicted. However, after looking at some of Mr. T’s questions it seems that he possibly wasn’t just trying to escape. In Scout’s quote I think this is relevant because it points out that the field was the size of a football field. Any sane man would realize that running would be suicide because you could easily be singled out. I believe Tom to be a sane man, no the type that would commit suicide.

  70. jgallagher4

    I kind of like this book. I like the way Atticus teaches Jem and Scout lessons of life and he doesn’t lie to them. He acts the same to his kids as to everyone else which shows that he treats his kids with respect. The beginning was a little slow, but in the end it all came together really well.

  71. bhunsaker4

    To answer Mr. Thomas’s question of whether Tom was as innocent as a mocking bird or not, I truly think he was. He was just a black man trying to get through in life while helping out other people. It was helping other people that got him killed. If that isn’t innocent, I don’t know what is.

  72. Tom Robinson was shot by prison guards while attempting to escape by running through the exercise yard. Atticus says that Tom ran quickly and that if he didn’t have a disadvantage he would have made it. I don’t think Tom was tryuly trying to escape i think he just gave up. I think he gave up believing that even with the help of white men he would walk away from the trial. Scout’s quote shows how she is truly bothered by the death of Tom Robinson, which demonstrates awareness and desire for change in the Maycomb community.

  73. bhunsaker4

    As to why the guards would kill tom when he is so innocent, I believe it is what he stood for. His trial must have scared the people of maycomb very badly. Never before had an all white jury had to meet for several hours before producing a sentence for a black man. The guards along with the rest of the community must have viewed Tom as a threat to the way of life that they had lived for so long. They had to get rid of that threat at all costs. Also, with the appeal coming up the guards must have ben scared that he would walk away innocent so they decided to qmk up some bs story and do “justice”

  74. Hey Mr. Thomas!
    How are you? How is Jackson? I’m doing really well. I like this book, To Kill A Mockingbird, however I enjoyed the Great Gatsby a lot more. I find To Kill a Mockingbird confusing because it is written from the viewpoint of a child, but also an adult so it can get a little bit confusing. Anyways, I hope everything is good and we all look forward to seeing you =)

  75. Well obviously Tom wanted to escape because he was going to die for something he didnt do. He had a family to support. Tom is very similar to a mockingbird. Earlier in the book, Atticus said not to kill a mockingbird because it does nothing but sing. Its innocent, just like Tom. He did nothing but good and wanted to help Mayella.

  76. Here’s a question…

    It seems that the intense racism and bigotry in To Kill A Mockingbird is easily accepted by readers. If the book To Kill A Mockingbird was set in 2008, would it cause more controversy? How might the plot be different?

  77. cpatterson4

    Tom Robinson was shot and killed during an attempted escape while in the Enfield Prison Farm. Atticus said that although he had told Tom that there was a chance he could still be set free Tom may have grown impatient with waiting on the white man’s chances and chose to take his own. I believe that although the situation would make it entirely possible that the white guards would have murdered Tom and made it look as though he were trying to escape the evidence as shown in the book would point to the conclusion that he was indeed killed while trying to escape. The quote of Scout’s response to the news of Tom’s death shows the trauma in which she suffers not only because of the indirect connection she has with him as a result of her father being his defense attorney and her knowledge that he was in fact innocent, but also because she had seen the place in which he died which only heightened the disturbing reality of the news and also makes it easy for her young mind to picture his death.

  78. To Kill A Mockingbirds reference to innocence can also be reffered to the innocence of Jem, Scout, and Mayella. They all had an innocnece that made them not be racist but the racist whites of Maycomb are trying to destroy that. Also, Mayella’s father is trying to destroy that by making his daughter say that a black man raped her when really she wanted him.

    We all did so well on this we probably don’t have to take a final… 🙂 Come back and see us soon Mr. Thomas! Bring Jackson too

  79. cpatterson4

    Although at first I struggled to really get into the book, I now really enjoy reading it. I really enjoy how it mixes the depth and seriousness of issues like the persecution of African Americans in the South that would make a book thought provoking and challenge the reader to think, with the innocent thoughts and stories of a naive young girl that would make a book more lighthearted and enjoyable. In my mind the resulting culmination of this unlikely pare makes for a truly wonderful book.

  80. Okay I just realized something…I think the guards were lying about Tom climbing the fence. They saw him in the exercise yard and thought if they killed him they could easily make it look like they killed him when he was trying to escape. They wanted to make sure that he was killed for his “crimes”. The fact that he was black probably provoked the guards the rest of he way.

  81. cpatterson4

    I really think that it would make the most sense in terms of the storyline of the book that Tom was actually murdered by the guards however I am just hesitant to come to this conclusion. It seems the flaw in the story that Tom was shot trying to escape is that the exercise grounds were so large that if Tom had attempted to escape the likelihood that he would have been caught was slim and yet I find it hard to believe that it would have been easy for him to allude the guards long enough to climb over the fence, which may have had barbed wire on the top of it and ether way would not under any circumstances be short or easy to scale in a short amount of time especially for Tom Robinson because of his crippled left arm. What do you think about how Tom was killed?

  82. Up until Mr. Thomas’ explanation of why he figured that the guards had to have killed Tom Robinson I thought there was no other solution other than Tom had simply had enough with all he had been put through. However judging from Tom Robinson’s character he does not seem like the type of man who even when face with this much struggle would attempt at viciously escaping from Prison. It seems that there is just too much evidence that is against the guards, and a minor amount that supports them.

  83. In response to kmuhr’s comment. “It seems that the intense racism and bigotry in To Kill A Mockingbird is easily accepted by readers.”

    I don’t think that anyone takes the racism lightly, and I am sure had it been placed in present date there would be far more controversy. However I think the reason you feel that we are taking the racism lightly is because that is what we have been raised to feel about people of the South ecspecially over history. Its not that we are accepting racism, it is that we are accepting history.

  84. I just thought of another reason as to why people may have been a little timid to say that they thought the guards people had killed him was the thought of comparing the death, to a death today. When someone thinks of murder in a storyline they think CSI or law and order, but because this was way before any advancements of that magnitude in science, there is no way to prove where/when/what/who he was shot by, or how it actually would have went down.

    Thanks for letting me do this Mr. T, your the best. We won our game yesterday and are now first seed in State Champs.

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