Best 23 Tom Robinson Important Quotes

Best 23 Tom Robinson Important Quotes

Tom Robinson is a significant character in Harper Lee’s classic novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird.” As an African American man falsely accused of rape, Tom becomes a symbol of injustice and racial prejudice in the fictional town of Maycomb, Alabama. Throughout the novel, Tom’s character provides powerful insights into the themes of racism, injustice, and the loss of innocence. Here, we have compiled the best 23 Tom Robinson quotes that highlight his wisdom, resilience, and the impact of his tragic story.

1. “I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more ‘n the rest of ’em-“
These words spoken by Tom Robinson during his trial demonstrate his empathy and compassion, even towards his accuser, Mayella Ewell.

2. “I ain’t ever harmed a child, and I ain’t ever hurt no woman.”
Tom asserts his innocence and highlights the false accusations made against him, emphasizing the injustice he faces.

3. “I felt right sorry for her, but there was nothing I could do about it.”
Tom acknowledges his powerlessness in the face of racial prejudice and the biased justice system.

4. “I was scared, suh. I tried to get away but she grabbed me around the legs… I never done it before.”
Tom’s fear and desperation are palpable as he recounts the events leading to his false accusation, exposing the vulnerability of a black man in a racially divided society.

5. “Somebody told me just now that they thought I was a fine Christian lady… They said you were a disgrace to the name of Atticus and you ought to be hung from the water tank!”
Tom’s words reveal the hypocrisy and prejudice within Maycomb, as even the supposedly virtuous townspeople turn against him without evidence.

6. “I’m a dead man. They’ve done it before and they’ll do it again.”
Tom’s somber realization reflects the ongoing cycle of injustice and racial violence that he, as an African American man, is trapped in.

7. “White man’s a god in this town.”
Tom’s assertion exposes the deeply ingrained racial hierarchy and the belief in white supremacy that permeates Maycomb.

8. “I ain’t ever had no trouble with the law. You know that.”
Tom’s statement highlights his character’s integrity and innocence, contradicting the baseless accusations made against him.

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9. “You’re a mighty good fellow, it seems—did all this for not one penny?”
Tom expresses gratitude towards his defense attorney, Atticus Finch, for his selfless dedication to Tom’s case.

10. “I felt right sorry for her, but she had nobody to help her. She might have been nice if somebody had—”
Tom’s words depict his understanding of Mayella’s circumstances and the lack of support she received, revealing his capacity for empathy.

11. “They said if I didn’t give her what she wanted, she’d tell everybody in Maycomb I raped her.”
Tom reveals the manipulative tactics employed by Mayella to falsely accuse him, highlighting the power dynamics between white women and black men during that era.

12. “They don’t belong anywhere. Colored folks won’t have ’em because they’re half white; white folks won’t have ’em ’cause they’re colored, so they’re just in-betweens, don’t belong anywhere.”
Tom’s observation sheds light on the discrimination faced by mixed-race individuals and the limited acceptance they receive from both black and white communities.

13. “I say I felt right sorry for her, she seemed to try more ‘n the rest of ’em—”
Tom’s repeated empathy towards Mayella showcases his ability to see beyond race and recognize the hardships faced by individuals, regardless of their background.

14. “You know what’s gonna happen as well as I do, Jack, and I hope and pray I can get Jem and Scout through it without bitterness, and most of all, without catchin’ Maycomb’s usual disease.”
Tom’s comment reveals his concern for the well-being and moral development of Atticus Finch’s children, Jem and Scout, amidst the racism and prejudice prevalent in their community.

15. “I said I felt right sorry for her, but I just can’t pity her.”
Tom acknowledges Mayella’s difficult circumstances but also recognizes the wrongfulness of her actions, refusing to pity her for the false accusation she made against him.

16. “I got somethin’ to say an’ then I ain’t gonna say no more. That n***** yonder took advantage of me an’ if you fine, fancy gentlemen don’t wanna do nothin’ about it then you’re all yellow stinkin’ cowards, stinkin’ cowards, the lot of you.”
Tom’s emotional outburst during the trial exposes the frustration he feels towards the system that perpetuates racial injustice and the cowardice of those who refuse to confront it.

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17. “I ain’t never seen any jury decide in favor of a colored man over a white man.”
Tom’s observation reflects the systemic racism that permeates the justice system, where a black man is presumed guilty simply due to the color of his skin.

18. “I ain’t got no quarrel with them, and they ain’t got no quarrel with me.”
Tom’s statement underscores his peaceful nature and the absence of any ill will towards the Ewell family, despite the false accusations made against him.

19. “It’s just a white man’s word against a black man’s, the jury couldn’t possibly be expected to take Tom Robinson’s word against the Ewells’.”
Atticus Finch’s comment about Tom’s trial highlights the racial bias that obstructs fair judgment in Maycomb.

20. “I’d rather you shoot at tin cans in the backyard, but I know you’ll go after birds. Shoot all the blue jays you want if you can hit ’em, but remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.”
Tom’s case is paralleled with the symbolism of the mockingbird, a harmless creature that represents innocence and purity. Tom, like the mockingbird, becomes a victim of senseless violence and injustice.

21. “I said I felt sorry for her, but I ain’t feelin’ that way no more.”
Tom’s words demonstrate the emotional toll of the trial and the subsequent loss of sympathy towards Mayella, who falsely accused him.

22. “I felt right sorry for her, but she had plenty of time to call Atticus… She didn’t seem to help herself none, she just sat there and took it.”
Tom’s observation regarding Mayella’s lack of action during the alleged assault questions the validity of her accusations and further highlights her role in the injustice he faces.

23. “Mr. Finch, if you was a n****r like me, you’d be scared too.”
Tom’s statement to Atticus Finch emphasizes the pervasive fear experienced by African Americans in a racially hostile society, highlighting the disparity in their experiences.

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Q: Why is Tom Robinson an important character in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?
A: Tom Robinson represents the injustice and racial prejudice prevalent in Maycomb. His character highlights the systemic racism faced by African Americans and acts as a catalyst for the novel’s exploration of morality and the loss of innocence.

Q: How does Tom Robinson’s trial impact the narrative?
A: Tom’s trial serves as the central event in the novel, exposing the deep-rooted racism in Maycomb and challenging the moral fabric of the town. It becomes the catalyst for Scout and Jem’s coming-of-age journey and Atticus Finch’s unwavering commitment to justice.

Q: What does Tom Robinson symbolize in the novel?
A: Tom symbolizes the innocent victims of racial injustice and the loss of innocence. He represents the mockingbird, a creature that does no harm and yet is targeted by society.

Q: How does Tom Robinson’s character highlight racial prejudice?
A: Tom’s character showcases the racial bias ingrained in Maycomb’s society. He is falsely accused based solely on his race, and his subsequent trial reveals the systemic racism and the unequal treatment of African Americans in the justice system.

Q: What is the significance of Tom Robinson’s quotes in “To Kill a Mockingbird”?
A: Tom’s quotes provide powerful insights into the themes of racial prejudice, injustice, and the loss of innocence. They highlight the impact of racism on individuals and the moral choices made by the characters in the novel.

In conclusion, Tom Robinson’s character in “To Kill a Mockingbird” serves as a poignant reminder of the racial prejudice and injustice prevalent during that era. His quotes provide a window into the hardships faced by African Americans and the moral dilemmas confronted by the novel’s characters. Tom’s story resonates as a powerful critique of a society divided by race, where innocence is lost, and the consequences of racial bias are tragically felt.