Tom Robinson and Tim Johnson Analysis
Name your GoogleDoc: 8-# TRTJ Analysis your first name and last initial
(example: 8-1 TRTJ Analysis Lily R. and Natalie L.)
Rough Draft Due: Wednesday 5/21.
Final Draft Due: Friday 5/23.
On pages 239-41, Scout hears the verdict in Tom Robison’s trial.
Scout likens the atmosphere in the courtroom to the time “when the mockingbirds were still and the carpenters had stopped hammering on Miss Maudie’s new house, and every wood door in the neighborhood was shut as tight as the doors of the Radley Place. A deserted, waiting, empty street, and the courtroom packed with people” (240). She expects to hear Mr. Tate say, “‘Take him, Mr. Finch’” (240).
And when the jury files in, she immediately realizes that none of the jurors look at Tom Robinson, meaning she knows they have convicted him. She thinks, “…and it was like watching Atticus walk into the street, raise a rifle to his shoulder and pull the trigger, but watching all the time knowing that the gun was empty” (240).
Why in this scene when Tom Robinson is found guilty does Scout harken back to the scene in which Atticus shoots the rabid dog in the street? What connects these two scenes? Think symbolically and metaphorically, not literally.
To answer this question, you will write one to two paragraphs:
- Start with an intriguing, thought-provoking, clear, and concise THESIS STATEMENT that establishes the point you want to make about how these two scenes connect. In your thesis statement, very explicitly state how these two scenes connect.
- Then, prove your thesis is correct. Give at least THREE reasons why your thesis statement is right. Support each of your reasons with evidence from the novel. Each of your three reasons should include:
- Introduction to the passage you will cite as evidence.
- The passage itself.
- Explanation of how this passage supports or proves your thesis statement.
- Draw a conclusion and demonstrate how these three reasons prove your point about how these two scenes connect.
- Throughout, provide context for your audience. Pretend that your audience has not read the novel in a long time so you have to set up the scene for them, very briefly explaining what is happening in that scene. Always provide the background information your audience needs in order to understand what you’re stating in your paragraph.
- Keep the need for focus and brevity in mind.
- A paragraph should be about nine to twelve sentences long.
There are not necessarily three right or wrong reasons; however, your three reasons should demonstrate that you are critically thinking about the novel, that you are thinking symbolically and metaphorically, and that you can support your ideas with specific textual evidence.
The “One-Shot Finch” scene in which Atticus shoots the rabid dog and Miss Maudie remarks on Atticus’s “unfair advantage” is on pages 108-113.
Atticus’s explanation of “courage” (“…instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand…”) is on page 128.
A townsperson’s comment that Atticus “aims” to defend Tom Robinson is on page 186.
Atticus’s closing remarks are on pages 230-234.