To Kill A Mockingbird

Question: Why did everybody in the courtroom go silent when Tom said that he did chores for Mayella because he felt sorry for her?

Chosen answer: At that time in history, Tom, a black man, was considered inferior to Mayella, a white woman. When he says he "felt sorry" for her, it is interpreted as him thinking he is above her or better off in some way. Regardless of his good intentions, for him to think of himself as being in a superior position to help her was considered unacceptable because it was seen as a black person rising above their lower place in society.

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Quotes

Atticus Finch: Did you rape Mayella Ewell?
Tom Robinson: I did not, sir.
Atticus Finch: Did you harm her in any way?
Tom Robinson: I did not.

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Mistakes

Early in the courtroom scene there is a shot of Gregory Peck that is reversed. The part in his hair is not on the same side of his head that it is in the rest of the film.

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Trivia

Mary Badham was nominated for the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role as Scout. At the age of nine, Badham became the youngest ever nominee in that category.

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