Dill meets Scout and Jem- Dill's P.O.V.
I was an American spy in the War, watching my targets like a hawk through the hole in the fence. A boy and a girl: the boy must have been about nine years old and the girl looked about six. I could tell that they were brother and sister.
A collard tickled my leg, but as I reached down to push it away, I grazed against another plant and made a loud rustling noise. I held my breath and waited to be discovered. Sure enough, I saw two sets of eyes peek out over the top of the fence.
“Hey,” I greeted them as I rose and dusted myself off.
“Hey yourself,” The boy said in a friendly voice.
“I’m Charles Baker Harris,” I informed them. “I can read.”
From that moment on, we became fast friends. My summers in Maycomb were the best part of my year. Escaping my mother and my fake father and spending long days playing and pretending I was someone else with them made my Aunt Rachel's house bearable. It gave me something to look forward to.
Mob Outside the Jail House- Atticus' P.O.V.
My heart leapt into my throat and I could barely breathe. The look of triumph on Scout’s face began to fade as she registered the fear written plainly on mine. Moments later, Jem and Dill squeezed into the ring.
I tried to hide my shock and fear. Moving slowly and deliberately, I folded my newspaper. My slowness and trembling hands betrayed how old and weary I had become. I instructed Jem to take his sister and Dill home, but I could tell from his defensive stance that he wasn’t going anywhere.
I stood facing him and tried to think of what to do next. When he imitated my posture, I saw his mother and myself staring back at me. Just to test him, I asked him one more time, but I wasn’t surprised when he refused.
I felt so much pride for my children in that moment. They were brave, maybe stupidly brave, but they were firm in their beliefs, just how I raised them to be. They were only kids but they understood enough to be afraid for me. They were prepared to stand up to a mob of grown men to protect me. Even though I knew they didn’t know what was a stake, I knew that they would fight for what was right, and that meant everything to me.
ATTICUS' SPEECH- JEM'S P.O.V.
“Gentlemen,” he began. Scout and I glanced at each other and I scooted to the edge of the bench in anticipation.
I listened raptly. Nothing could have torn my eyes from my father, making his last stand for justice. I sat up straighter and beamed down at Atticus.
“The defendant is not guilty, but somebody in this courtroom is.” I followed his gaze to the Ewell’s bench. Mr. Ewell’s indignant eyes narrowed and he sat a little straighter at Atticus’s words. I saw Mayella slouch down a little, like she was trying to melt into the bench. I looked back up to my father. Weary as he was from the stress of the trial, he remained passionate and hopeful. He reviewed his points and finished strong.
“In the name of God, do your duty.”
For a second I was floating. I was sure that we had won. Tom Robinson would go free, all thanks to Atticus! He had done what no one else would for fear of failure, and he had succeeded!
I felt a tug at my sleeve and followed Dill’s gaze. I didn’t even hear what he said. Calpurnia was walking up the aisle.
Trial Reflection- Jury's P.O.V.
I know that Tom wasn’t guilty. But I also know that I couldn’t say he was innocent, not in front of the other jury members. Besides, even if I had said otherwise, it wouldn’t have made a difference. A unanimous decision would have been needed to change the verdict, and no one else would have stood by me. If you’re going to do the wrong thing, you might as well do the wrong thing backed by eleven other people.
See? I shouldn’t feel guilty. One vote in twelve couldn’t have saved him, so I did the best I could by saving myself from social and political destruction. He was going to be found guilty no matter what I said, so I did the right thing by acting in the interest of myself and my family instead.
I never doubted Tom’s innocence. He doesn’t have have use of his left hand, so he couldn’t have hit Mayella instead of standing behind her. No, I don’t reckon any of us believed it. We simply made the decision that people in our position make. She’s white, he’s black, therefore he’s guilty. That’s just it.
Purpose and What I Learned
Mr. Crooke’s purpose in assigning this project was to help us understand the story better and to learn for ourselves the importance of "putting ourselves in other people’s skin,” as Atticus advises Scout. While doing this project, I learned that you can’t judge a person with complete accuracy unless you know every single thing about them. Without complete understanding of a person’s every thought, experience, and relationship, it is impossible to be sure that your idea of them is clear and correct. It follows that one can never know enough to fairly judge a person without living their entire life, so the only person that you can judge with complete accuracy is yourself.
It’s a nice idea and a good mental exercise to imagine what you would do or how you would feel in another person’s position, but you can’t ever be sure of what they would really think and feel. We can’t fully be understanding of others’ actions without knowing the whole story, but it is important for us to not judge others, even if it means making up a wild story about why he ran that red light or why she left a cigarette on the sidewalk. It is in our nature to judge (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing), but we must keep in mind that there is often more than meets the eye.