Tom Robinsons View of Mayellas Speech
Atticus turned to me. “Tom, stand up. Let Miss Mayella have a good long look at you. Is this the man, Miss Mayella?”
My right arm clenched onto the cool, wooden chair. I put my weight on it and stood up. My left arm lay limp against my side. I saw everyone’s faces turn white as my crippled arm caught their attention. I began to smirk, but caught myself before anyone’d noticed. I thoughta how clever an’ careful Atticus’s methods was. Mayella’s bruises stained her right cheek. Certainly, I wasn’t the one who done it.
At this point, the gasps of the audience exposed that they knew I wasn’t guilty. However, I gained no reassurance. I looked from Mayella’s caught face down to my arm. Sure, it was paralyzed, but it was also black. My panic was not subdued, but my disturbance in the court grew.
Mayella's Perspective of Tom's Testimony
“Then what did she do?”
I expected this trial to be quick. Tom was already saying too much. Every word he spoke contrasted mine like oil and water. The world around me silenced.
Tom seemed to have sunk back into his body, paralyzed and unable to speak. I knew what would come next; what awful act was done on my behalf. The sensation I felt, the hunger for love and want to be wanted was too strong. His thick brown lips slowly opened as he stuttered, “Sh-sh-se reached up an‘ kissed me ’side of th‘ face. She says she never kissed a grown man before an’ she might as well kiss a nigger. She says what her papa do to her don’t count.” My stomach dropped and I almost let the walls of tears that built up behind my eyes erupt. I closed my eyes shut and let out a heavy sigh. I swallowed heavily and looked back up at Tom. I looked right into his eyes, saw the brown and black pecks gleam with a layer of water. I was pleading with my eyes, the only thing I had left, for him to just stay silent. Against my desperation. he continued, every raw word a stab in my chest. ”She says, ‘Kiss me back, n*gger.’ I say Miss Mayella lemme outa here an‘ tried to run but she got her back to the door an’ I’da had to push her. I didn’t wanta harm her, Mr. Finch, an‘ I say lemme pass, but just when I say it Mr. Ewell yonder hollered through th’ window.”
My chest grew heavy and the anger inside me built into rage. I felt like bursting out of my chair and closing his mouth with my hand. The truth stung like a thousand bee stings. How dare this n*gger embarrass me like that? I saw every man, every woman, black and white awestruck, mouths hanging open, then quickly shut mine and scoffed as if I wasn’t phased.
Helen Robinson's Perspective of Tom's Death
I noticed the absent presence in Tom’s chair at the dinner table every night as I ate with my children. One summer night, the absence felt emptier than usual. I felt this sinking in my gut but I swallowed it and continued to pass the salt to my boy across the table. We sat in silence, with the occasional hum of the crickets outside the open window. I was doing the dishes, one less plate than usual, when I heard a knock at my door. I opened it to see Mr. Atticus standing there. My legs went numb and my body hit the floor. Moments later I was lifted from off the ground by Mr. Atticus, and he explained to me what had happened to my husband. He tried to escape the prison yard, and was shot seventeen times. After Mr. Atticus’s departure, I walked straight into my bedroom and embraced the bed sheets that still smelled like him. I did not inform my sons, I lay in my bed, mourning. The boys heard me, and immediately knew what had happened, without me having to speak a word. My youngest cracked my door slightly, and when I nodded at him, the two others followed him into my bed. I brought them close to my heart and we all cried until we were so exhausted from the tears drained from our bodies that we were passed out.
When I came to, I was surrounded by my boys, all lying in the foot of my bed. I reached over and tousled their hair with my long fingers and felt the worst pang in my heart. I looked at their nose and saw Tom. Every feature that once was their own was a trace of their father.
I got up quietly, trying not to wake them. I crawled to the bathroom and closed the door. My chest concaved and a squeal escaped my mouth. My back against the wall, I slid down to cold tile floor and hugged my knees. My chest was panting and I felt as if I’d never breathe again.
Boo's Perspective of Being in the Finch's Home
My eyes were fixed on Jean-Louis’s hair; short and choppy, and much more vibrant than from behind a dirty window. My heart was pacing fast, for I had not interacted with anyone other than my family for the past two dozen years of my life. I wondered if there was blood on my shirt, but the denim of my vetement was shaded by the door's shadow. I anticipated moving out from behind the door, but envisioned my pale white skin hitting the light and blinding everyone around me. Instead, I sunk back into the wall.
My eyes were wide with wonder and I felt like a color blind man walking down the laundry aisle in a grocery store for the first time seeing with color. The ebullience of the red was beautiful, but intense. It was pure instinct to protect Jean-Louis, I didn’t hesitate. The second I heard her screams I shot through my door whose knob had been untouched from my frail hands for as long as I could remember. However, that sense of confidence and comfort had vanished. The act I performed, although honorable to any man with a heart, was deemed questionable on my part. I had a history with knives in this town.
This book is written in the perspective of an adult Scout. By taking the time to see the view of other characters, it is very eye opening. It helps you understand the emotions behind every character, not just Scout. Even Mayella, whom I did not have any sympathy for, had her own mindset. Just by writing about her listening to Tom's testimony, made me see her desperation and vulnerability. This assignment allows for an open mentality and lack of ignorance. It's important to remember that in any story, their is more than one point of view. This is a parallel to our own lives. Conflicts erupt when you don't consider all perspectives. It's also simply very interesting to get a different standpoint. Every character has their own personality, and it is most revealed when you read their words and explanations, not just their actions. This assignment taught me that there's always another side to every story.