To Kill A Mockingbird – Who Is The Most Guilty Essay, Research Paper
Who is the most guilty? Review the involvement?s
of the characters in the novel and evaluate weather or not they were guilty,
and if so how guilty?
In the classic novel ?To Kill A Mockingbird?
by Harper Lee there is an abundance of characters that could be proclaimed
to be the guilty party, but who is truly the guiltiest one of all? The
definition of guilt is as follows; the state of having done something wrong
or committed an offense; a feeling of self-reproach from believing that
one has done something wrong. My job is to examine the characters closely
and determine who is the most guilty in the involvement?s of Tom Robinson?s
prosecution, conviction and ultimately his death.
As I stated, there is an abundance of characters
that could be guilty, from Mayella and Bob Ewell, Heck Tate, to the jurors
and Atticus Finch. All of these characters play a roll in the story, and
a roll in the events that happened to Tom Robinson.
The story is an interesting one, but guilty
parties are found throughout. The story is set against the background of
nineteen thirties Southern life. The Finches are a family that once ran
a large, successful plantation. Their ancestors had been aristocratic ladies
and gentlemen of the south. Now they are reduced to gentle poverty. Atticus
and his family live in a town named Maycomb, he is a career layer. He has
a son named Jeremy and a daughter named Jean-Louse. They also have a cook
named Calpernia, she is a Negro but they respect her greatly. Racism in
Maycomb is evident almost where ever you look, and Negro peoples don?t
have a chance to succeed.
A family that played a huge roll in the
novel are named the Ewells. They live on the out skirts of town by the
dump, near the Negro dwellings. The family consists of Bob, whom has a
daughter named Mayella and several other siblings. In the context of the
book, they are seen as no better than the Negro?s. There is a sheriff named
Heck Tate, he is the one and only police officer in the small town, and
a judge named Taylor, who in the end hands down Tom?s punishment.
To Kill A Mockingbird deals with many primal
and basic lessons in human nature. The book expresses many issues that
affect people throughout there lives. The novel deals with what you feel
inside, and I think that some of the characters, or at least, they should
be feeling guilt inside.
Atticus seems to be a great guy, and a
pretty good layer also but he too played a roll in the events that happened
to Tom Robinson. Although he did try his best, he was beat before he started…and
he knew this. Atticus fought vigorously for him, but failed. Tom was convicted
on the charges of rape and Atticus said to him that he would try an appeal,
and told him to sit tight. When Tom had been sent to a jail, he was scared
for his life and tried to make a run for it, he attempted to scale a large
fence. He would have made it if only for the fact that his arm lay dead
at his side. He was shot seventeen times in the process. Atticus felt guilty,
he was not able to convince Tom that things would work out for him. He
failed at letting Tom know that he could be free.
The jurors are the single most important
people in the court room, and having a clear mind of all prejudices needs
to be preset. In this case it was not. The jurors virtually held Tom?s
life in their hot little hands, and in their prejudicial ways crushed it
without thinking twice. The members of the jurors are undoubtedly guilty
because of the simple fact that there was no hard evidence that Tom did
it, rape Mayella. The jurors should have reviewed the evidence with utter
most care, it almost clearly pointed to Bob Ewell as the abuser simply
for the fact that a right handed person would have beaten her up. Thus
impossible for Tom because his arm lay useless at his side. The evidence
was clear, no doctor was brought to the scene to examine Mayella, clearly
indicating that something was up, clearly indicating that she was in fact
not raped by Tom. The jurors are guilty for the simple fact that they convicted
an innocent man, their racist views go to them and couldn?t see the truth.
In every town there is a sheriff, in Maycomb
his name was Heck Tate. He is the only police officer in town, and he is
also white. He was the first official on the scene when the supposed rape
occurred, and saw Mayella squirming on the floor with her father standing
over her in an esthetic rage. If the sheriff did his investigating in a
better manner he would have discovered that Mayella had been beaten up
by her father. Heck Tate did his job in a lazy manor, and with held evidence
to the extent of his words and his investigating. He took Bob and Mayella?s
word for it without separating them and getting proper statements from
them. He didn?t call in a doctor, which could have determined whether or
not she was raped. In my opinion, Heck Tate did a lousy job in investigating
the whole manner, and for that is guilty for Tom?s conviction and death.
Bob Ewell lived on the out skirts of town
and despised Negro?s. He lived with his daughter Mayella and several other
siblings. He was a mean spirited human being, and spent all the family?s
relief checks on himself buying into his addiction, alcohol. He did see
the events in question, but they did not happen they way he said they did,
not at all. He heard a commotion in the distance and ran to see what the
matter was. He saw Mayella trying to get onto of Tom Robinson, he was mortified.
This was a sin, to be with a Negro man if you were white. Bob started screaming,
and Tom was scared off. He then was so mad he proceeded to beat Mayella
on the right side of her head, later brought into evidence. He knew what
he was doing, he knew he was going to blame Tom for the beating and rape
of Mayella even though he knew that if did not happen(the rape). Bob Ewell
is guilty to the full extent, for costing a man his freedom…and his life.
Mayella Ewell is at the center of the whole
case, she is the key to Tom?s guilt of innocent. If she would have had
the guts to come forward and confess the lie that brought down an innocent
man, the case would have been dismissed. She wanted him so badly because
she had no one. She thought she loved him, but love was inferior to her
urges, she wanted him to love her. She is guilty of planning the whole
event that in the end would take a man?s life. She wanted to get with him,
but her plans didn?t work. When he pushed her away rejecting her she snapped
and opened her mind hating him. The reason she lied was for the simple
fact that he rejected her, and she could not take this. Her guilt is evident
to me, she started a really horrible lie, she was protecting her father.
It was wrong and she is absolutely guilty.
In the end an innocent man was convicted
and died in the hands of the criminal justice system because of a few individuals
I have mentioned. Guilt is evident throughout all of the character, and
maybe even some more can be guilty. At the end I will say this, an innocent
man was convicted and died because of the actions of a few individuals,
and one lie.