It is useful to look again at Finch`s behavior in light of the historic South of his time. Researcher Lisa Lindquist Dorr studied two hundred and eighty-eight cases of black-and-white rape that took place in Virginia between 1900 and 1960. Seventeen of the defendants were killed by “additional legal force,” i.e. lynched. Fifty were executed. Forty-eight received the maximum sentence. Fifty-two were sentenced to prison terms of five years or less, ranging from rape and murder to robbery, assault and assault, or “assaulting a white woman.” Thirty-five were acquitted or their charges were dismissed. A significant number of them had their sentences commuted by the governor. Our courtroom has been restored to its 1930s appearance and is the model of Harper Lee`s fictional courtrooms in To Kill a Mockingbird. It is now one of the most famous courtrooms in America due to the popular film version of the book. Although the film was not shot here, the set designer came to Monroeville to survey, photograph and draw the courtroom before recreating it on a Hollywood soundstage. Today, fans of the classic novel from around the world come to the courthouse because it represents the most tangible connection to the fictional Maycomb in the book. Visitors can move freely around the courtroom, including the balcony, witness chair, judge`s bench and tables used by the prosecutor and defence counsel.
As a child, Harper Lee often sat on the balcony while watching his father practice law in this room. Finch`s moral test comes at the end of “To Kill a Mockingbird.” Bob Ewell was humiliated by the Robinson trial. In revenge, he attacks Scout and his brother on Halloween night. Boo Radley, the finches` reclusive neighbor, comes to the children`s defense and in the fight Radley kills Ewell. Sheriff Tate brings the news to Finch and persuades him to lie about what really happened. The story will be that Ewell accidentally stabbed himself in the fight. As the sheriff explains: Nelle Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, was born in Monroeville in 1926 and grew up with the old courthouse as the center of all activity in the town square. It is easy to imagine that the elegant courtroom of the old courthouse could have inspired parts of his book.
She is said to have insisted that the director of the film “To Kill a Mockingbird” visit the old Monroe County Courthouse before building the film`s sets. Actor Gregory Peck also came to see the courthouse and the city. He later said that the role of Atticus Finch was his all-time favorite. As you stand in the courtroom, you can almost hear Finch`s voice, “In the name of God, do your duty.” The ring of the courtyard had spoken. Maycomb would return to what he had always been. This is where Finch`s critique begins, because the approach to hearts and minds is about adaptation, not reform. At one point, Scout asks him if it is acceptable to hate Hitler. Finch firmly replies that it is not acceptable to hate someone. Real? Not even Hitler? When his children discuss the presence of the Ku Klux Klan in Maycomb, he shrugs: “About nineteen twenty years ago, there was a Klan, but it was primarily a political organization.
Moreover, they could not find anyone to fear. One night they walked towards M. Sam Levy`s house passed, but Sam just stood on his porch and told them things had ended well. Sam was so ashamed that they left. Someone in Finch`s historical position would certainly have been aware of Leo Frank`s lynching in Marietta, Georgia, in 1915. Frank was convicted of murdering a thirteen-year-old girl, Mary Phagan, on the basis of dubious evidence. The prosecutor in that case compared Frank to Judas Iscariot, and the crowd outside the courthouse shouted, “Hang the Jew!” The most vicious anti-Semitism was embedded in the social fabric of the Old South. But Finch doesn`t want to deal with the existence of anti-Semitism. He wants to believe the fantasy of Sam Levy, who walks down the street and scolds the Klan.
Scout (as well as Judge Taylor) is really surprised when Mayella claims that Atticus is laughing at her. He treats them only with respect. That Lee chooses the word “mock” here is important. Mockingbirds repeat the sounds they hear. They are like little echo machines. Atticus is just repeating the story as it actually happened, but in this case, an echo is a very dangerous thing for Mayella. Lee describes Mayella as “a cat with stable eyes and a shaky tail,” which is ironic given that Tom looks like a mockingbird just trying to make her life easier and more enjoyable. Cats hunt birds, and Lee`s description is that of a cat chasing prey. According to Mayella, Scout suddenly understands that Mayella is “even more alone than Boo Radley.” Construction of the Monroe County Courthouse began in 1903 and the offices moved from the old pre-war courthouse on the square to the new building in 1904. When To Kill a Mockingbird was released in 1960, the building gained national fame.
In 1963, the district offices moved to a new building on the square, and the community began preserving the old courthouse with the idea of creating a museum. In 1968, a museum was opened as a small part-time attraction. In 1991, the museum opened full-time and the first production of a play by To Kill a Mockingbird was performed in the courtroom. Renovation of the building also began in 1991 and the $2.5 million project was completed in 2002. Tom Robinson closed his eyes firmly. “He says, fucking whore, I`m going to kill you.” The reference to the mother was important. “Although Sizer did not directly challenge the victim herself, direct evidence was useless at the height of eugenic family studies,” Dorr writes. “The victim, who comes from the same inferior `tribe`, would probably share his mother`s moral character.” The argument worked: Mays was released from prison in 1930. Folsom`s – and Lee`s – Alabama was marked by deep localism.
Political scientists call this the “friends and neighbors” effect. “Alabama voters rarely identified with candidates based on their problems,” writes George Sims in his biography of Folsom, “The Little Man`s Best Friend.” “Instead, they tended to give the most support to the candidate whose place of residence was closest to theirs.” Alabama consisted of “island communities,” each dominated by a small clique of leaders known as the “court ring.” In Alabama at that time, there were no Republicans worth mentioning, only Democrats. The policy was not ideological. It was personal. What it meant to be a racial moderate in this context was to push for an informal adjustment between blacks and whites. A Pulitzer Prize-winning production, To Kill a Mockingbird, is performed each May in the courtroom and lawn of the former Monroe County Courthouse, which is now a museum. Designed by famed Southern architect Andrew Bryan, the courthouse was once known as “Stallworth`s Folly,” after Judge Nicholas J. Stallworth, who hired Bryan in 1903. The construction exceeded the budget, affected the judge`s popularity and cost him his re-election. Nevertheless, the courthouse was hailed in the Monroe Journal as “one of the finest and best-equipped [courthouses] in the state.” The “she wanted it” defence was particularly difficult in this case.
Here`s what it said about Mayella: She was so hungry for sex that she spent an entire year looking for a way to achieve it.