Which Character Does Harper Lee Create the Most Sympathy for in 'to Kill a Mockingbird'

Topics: White people, Black people, South Africa Pages: 2 (543 words) Published: October 4, 2012
Which Character does Harper Lee create the most sympathy for in ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’?

In ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’, Harper Lee creates many characters, which we, as the reader, can feel sorry for. Boo Radley, Atticus, even the Ewells at some points. However Tom Robinson has faced many hard challenges in his life but gets through them being kind and honest and yet in the end he still ends up shot out of cold blood. Harper Lee creates sympathy for Tom by allowing the reader to straight away know that Tom did not do the crime he was said to have done and was paying for. We gain sympathy throughout the novel as we see just how badly he is treated because of the color of his skin. There is a large amount of Segregation still shown throughout the book as Harper Lee had written this book about 70 years after the American civil war. The black people live in a separate part of town, have a different church and are always treated poorly by the white people. This is shown predominantly in the court case, as it is obvious that Tom is innocent and yet is still said to be guilty. This trial is based on the Scottsborough trial, which occurred when Harper Lee was growing up, where two white women accused nine black men of raping them. Some of these men were hanged after the jury said they were guilty. A few months after, it was proven that they were in fact innocent. They, just like Tom, were judged not on their crime but on the color of their skin. Our sympathy for Tom increases when he comes to the stand. He says that the only reason he went onto the Ewells home was because he felt sorry for Mayella and wanted to help. This however is the biggest unspoken crime a black person can commit. Feeling sorry for a white person shows disrespect. However the reader sees that Tom is just being the kind, honest person that he is, however with the white jury he is said to be guilty. Our sympathy also increases when we find out that Tom is in Scout’s words ‘ a cripple’. Seeing that he...
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