The Negative Result of Tom Robinson’s Prosecution

A single trial changed the face of a small Alabama town. In 1930, many African Americans were falsely convicted in many trials. This injustice is perfectly illustrated in Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. There has been much debate about whether or not the trial had a positive effect on Scout and Jem. Scout and Jem were negatively affected by the trial because it almost led to their deaths, caused them to be criticised by neighbors, and put them in dangerous situations.

Scout and Jem were both harmed in the trial. Bob Ewell grudged Atticus, his children and the fact that Atticus took part in the trial. Jem, Scout and their playmate were walking home in darkness. Bob Ewell slowly followed the pair and, “…slowly took my breath (Scout),” (Lee 351). Bob Ewell would have killed Scout and Jem without Arthur Radley’s help. This directly threatens the safety of Scout and Jem. Scout and Jem would not have been in this situation if Atticus hadn’t taken the case. The Tom Robinson trial has influenced many neighbors. The neighbors began to harass Scout and Jem. Atticus has been a client of the Cunninghams and was helped by them. The Cunningham and Finch families have had a strong relationship until the trial. Cunningham was part a mob that attempted to murder Tom Robinson. Scout and Jem felt unsafe because of this. Jem, Scout and Mrs. Dubose were always treated with suspicion when they walked by her home. When Mrs. Dubose described the future of the Finch family, “not just a Finch sitting on tables, but one in courthouse lawing to niggers!” (Lee 135), the name-calling escalated. Jem, Scout and I are angry and annoyed at Mrs. Dubose and we worry about going to her house. Scout and Jem tend to be very protective of their fathers, which is why Mrs. Dubose comments are so irritating. Scout and Jem must pass Mrs. Dubose on their way to town. This limits the number of trips Scout and Scout can make to town. Jem, Scout and others were placed in peril by some of the neighbors’ protests.

Scout and Jem were placed in serious danger because of the anger directed at Atticus and Finch. An example of this is the time the mob attempted to capture Tom Robinson. Scout and Jem met in the middle a mob of drunken and angry men. “…. was one of the mob members and grabbed Jem about the collar. He grabbed Jem around the collar and pulled him away from his feet. “Don’t touch him!” He kicked me quickly. (Lee, 203-204). This trial is dangerous. Jem & Scout had no influence on the trial’s outcome, but they were still targeted due to being Atticus’ children.

Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird shows the dangers that Atticus faces when he defends Tom Robinson. Bob Ewell harbored a grudge and was aware that Atticus could have killed his children if he did so. Jem, Scout and their father were defending African Americans. They had to deal with a lot of abuse from classmates and neighbors. Jem & Scout were forced to endure more dangers, including being in an angry mob. Let’s conclude.

Atticus made a very dangerous decision for his family. Scout and Jem had a terrible experience.


  • declanryan

    Declan Ryan is a 25-year-old blogger who specializes in education. He has a degree in education from a top university and has been blogging about education for the past four years. He is a regular contributor to several popular education blogs and has a large following on social media. He is passionate about helping students and educators alike and is always looking for new ways to improve education.