Tom Robinson and the Lynch Mob During the scene at the gaol Scout and the other children don’t fully understand the incredible danger posed by the presence of the lynch mob. The story is told from Scout’s point of view we aren’t directly told what could happen. Similarly we are not given access to the thoughts of the members of the lynch mob. The narrative perspective prevents us from knowing Tom Robinson’s thoughts or even what Atticus is thinking at this point in the novel.
However, we gain some insight into Atticus’s assessment of the situation through his actions and dialogue during this scene. Task: Your task is to step into Tom or Atticus’s skin and retell this event from the point of view of this character. You should consider the depth of understanding that each of these character’s possess. They would be aware of the significance of this moment. They both have knowledge of the intentions of the mob and are fully aware of the capabilities of a group of angry men.
There is a real danger to Tom, Atticus and the children. Review the main points of the scene up until when the mob disperses, then write what the experience was like from either Tom or Atticus’s point of view. Keep in mind that what people said or actions they took are set in stone, but we don’t know what was in Tom or Atticus’s mind. I heard Mr Finch’s footsteps as he walked over to the gaol, I couldn’t see him but I could hear him, he told me that all would be ok; I wasn’t so sure of this.
I knew they were coming, everyone in town knows that I moved to the gaol, the only thing I didn’t know was who is in the group that was coming to torture and hang me. Then I heard cars pull up and men jump out and slam the doors, this was it, I then heard men walking closer and closer to the outside of the gaol and towards Mr Finch, my heart started beating really fast and I felt so bad that I couldn’t help him. Then an unknown man began to talk to him asking if I was here; my instantly heart dropped, I knew that this was it, they would kill him first then come in here and kill me before I even had a chance.
Then another voice but not the kind you would hear in this sort of situation, its sounds like a young girl, “Scout perhaps? ” I whispered to myself. She began to talk to someone, it sounded as if she was almost talking to herself until a man’s voice told her to leave. Not long after those words, I heard heavy footsteps that sounded as if they were walking away from the gaol, I whispered to myself, “Are they playing jokes with me? , can’t they just get it over and done with? ” Then there was the sound of car doors opening and engines’ rumbling was I let off? Was I finally free?