To Kill a Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird Chapter 25 Quotes
How we cite the quotes:
To Maycomb, Tom's death was typical. Typical of a nigger to cut and run. Typical of a nigger's mentality to have no plan, no thought for the future, just run blind first chance he saw. Funny thing, Atticus Finch might've got him off scot free, but wait-? Hell no. You know how they are. Easy come, easy go. Just shows you, that Robinson boy was legally married, they say he kept himself clean, went to church and all that, but when it comes down to the line the veneer's mighty thin. Nigger always comes out in 'em. (25.25)
Talk about a downer. For all the talk of baby steps and the folks with background who oppose racism from Atticus and Miss Maudie, this passage suggests that there's still a long way to go.
How could this be so, I wondered, as I read Mr. Underwood's editorial. Senseless killing—Tom had been given due process of law to the day of his death; he had been tried openly and convicted by twelve good men and true; my father had fought for him all the way. Then Mr. Underwood's meaning became clear: Atticus had used every tool available to free men to save Tom Robinson, but in the secret courts of men's hearts Atticus had no case. Tom was a dead man the minute Mayella Ewell opened her mouth and screamed. (25.28)
If the real trial takes place in the "secret courts of men's hearts," is the public trial pointless? What purpose did it serve? Is anything different now?