Slavery is a major issue in the South. Although it may have been abolished sooner, racism is still a prominent issue. In Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mocking Bird, there is a myriad of perfect examples of how time will heal all wounds. Even if racism exists in Scout’s time, generations will learn from their mistakes as time “heals“ all of the wounds that are inflicted on humanity. The killing of Tom Robinson truly portrays how time will heal all wounds that the human race has brought down upon themselves. In Scout’s time, the segregation of African Americans from society is inevitable.
They are still looked upon as scum, not equal to the likes of whites. They are not even looked upon as human beings with a family, emotions, and preferences. Tom Robinson is a self-respectable African American, who has the nerve to “feel sorry” for a white girl like Mayella Ewell. Because of this, many people in both the audience and the jury are confused “But the damage was done. Below us, nobody liked Tom Robinson’s answer. Mr. Gilmer paused a long time to let it sink in” (Lee 264). This is supposedly the comment that confirmed Tom’s death.
In a society where white people were superior, nobody will ever think that a white girl would fall in love with a black man who was already married “She did something that in our society is unspeakable: she kissed a black man. Not an old Uncle, but a strong young Negro man. No code mattered to her before she broke it, but it came crashing down on her afterwards” (Lee 272). Because society will shun them, Mayella has no choice but to save her reputation at the cost of Tom Robinson’s life. Many people in the jury know that Tom Robinson could not have raped her, since the evidence is extremely conclusive.
However, the jury, who consisted of white men (who are all seemingly racist), did not accept the facts and pronounces Tom Robinson guilty of raping Mayella Ewell. After Tom’s sentence, a small part of Atticus’ neighborhood is full of fury. Jem, in particular, is unnerved “It was Jem’s turn to cry. Hid face was streaked with angry tears as we made our way through the cheerful crowd” (Lee 284). However, Ms. Maudie sees the trial as a sign of victory. She explains to Scout that Atticus had kept the jury out for so long that it was a sign of change.
She then smiles at Scout and told her that her generation may not be so tolerant, but the trial gives it that little baby step it needs to move forward. That is exactly how segregation is later ended. Martin Luther King Jr. makes a speech that will someday change the whole structure of America. However, it did not happen right after his speech. It took years after his death to make an footprint upon the world. With time, a variety of customs will change for the best. Everyone makes mistakes that may take some time to resolve, but time will indeed heal all wounds.