A Meeting Between Tom Robinson and Arthur "Boo" Radley.

Essay by bobby63High School, 10th grade October 2008

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Creative Writing

Q) Write a transcript of the dialogue between Boo Radley and Tom Robinson.

In Heaven in the year 1959

Tom Robinson: Good morning, Mr. Radley. How are you doing today?

Arthur Radley: Mornin' Tom. I'm fit as a fiddle. How might you be, this fine day?

Tom Robinson: I'm all right, I guess.

Arthur Radley: Come on Tom! We are in heaven now. There's no need to feel blue about the time you spent on earth. This is a fresh start. Here, we can forget our past sorrows and concerns and try to fulfill all our hopes, dreams and desires.

Tom Robinson: I guess you are right, Mr. Radley.

Arthur Radley: Enough of this 'Mr. Radley' business. Call me Arthur. No need for racial prejudice to be carried all the way here.

Tom Robinson: Yes, Mr. Radley- err…Arthur…Can I ask you something? It's a little bit of a personal question.

Arthur Radley: Sure, Tom. What's on your mind?

Tom Robinson: If you could go back on earth, what would you want…to do, I mean?

Arthur Radley: Well, for one I would hope to become a part of a society where I won't be judged based on untrue rumors and where people will let me be who I want to be. I also hope that my brother and I become close again because all these years, it wasn't just my father who kept me locked up; it was also my brother- Nathan. Being locked up and kept in the dark for so long can really make a man miss talking and interacting with people. I never used to be much of a 'people-person' but boy-oh-boy have I missed talking and interacting with people. I hoped to become a man of purpose, but I never succeeded. I also wish to speak more to Jem and Scout because in a way, in all my years while locked up, those two children were the closest things I had as companions. I also hope that the Maycomb Society will realize I am not the person they have made me out to be. They have labeled me a violent, heartless killer when in truth I am not. What would you want, Tom?

Tom Robinson: The one thing I really want now is to be with my family. I wish so badly to be there for them and spend time with them but I cannot. I don't even know how my wife is coping in supporting the family. I am just grateful that all the people in my church try their very best to help each other so at least I know they will have food to eat and a bed to sleep on. I am sure that people like Atticus will make sure my family is well taken care of. Another thing which I really want is a world where whites and blacks are treated equally. Where people's guilt or innocence is not determined by the color of their skin but is actually determined by a fair and unbiased trial. But alas, I guess that is something I shall never see. I can only hope that my wife, children and grandchildren live in such a world.

Arthur Radley: Yes, I can understand. I myself have been the victim of such prejudice. But there there, Tom. I'm sure your family is holding up fine and as for your other desire for a world where people are equal, I think that that is going to happen soon. Unfortunately for you, it didn't happen before the trial began because then, you surely would have been acquitted and you would not be dead.

Tom Robinson: I know. But at least, if not for me, it will be a better world for my children and grandchildren and all others of my race. They won't be tortured, unfairly treated or discriminated against because they are black.

Arthur Radley: By the way, Tom. Did you really rape Mayella Ewell?

Tom Robinson: No Arthur, of course I didn't. I tried to help her because I felt sorry for her and it ended up backfiring on me. Atticus put up a darn' good fight in defending me but since it was so few of us against so many of them and in Maycomb, no black would ever be acquitted by an all-white jury even though he has committed no crime. Because of this, the truth was defeated

Arthur Radley: Oh dear God. That's a real pity. But if you weren't guilty, why did you attempt to flee from the prison you were incarcerated in? Atticus could have fought for you.

Tom Robinson: I know, Arthur. Atticus had already assured me that we had a good chance of getting me acquitted but at that time I didn't think about it but now I realize that running away is the biggest mistake I made. It cost me my life and if I had not run away and Atticus managed to get me exonerated, that could have been the turning point and blacks could have begun being treated as equals.

Arthur Radley: Indeed, Tom. So Tom, I've never asked but I'm quite curious…how did your left arm get to become so much shorter than your right arm?

Tom Robinson: Oh that…Well, when I was a boy I worked in Mr. Dolphus Raymond's farm and my arm got caught in a cotton gin. It tore all the muscles loose from my bones and my left arm never grew again.

Arthur Radley: Oh Dear God, it sounds so gruesome. You know what Tom, it's very good to have you here. It's nice to have someone to talk to especially someone who you have a lot in common with.

Tom Robinson: I know Arthur. I too feel that we have much in common. In a way, we are both like mocking birds. We didn't do anything wrong but the society around us killed the both of us emotionally and socially. Even though we weren't guilty of anything.

Arthur Radley: On a slightly different note, Tom, I would like to apologize on behalf of my fellow whites on the way you and all the other blacks are treated. Not all us whites are that narrow minded and I hope you know that not all the whites support this prejudice. Some of us whites actually "cry about the hell white people give colored folks without even stopping to think that they are people too."

Tom Robinson: I know, Arthur. In case you forgot, I was being defended by Atticus Finch- a white man and the white judge was never partial to the prosecution and never convicted me of anything until the jury had made its verdict. So well I guess change for the better is already happening on earth.

Arthur Radley: Yes, I think so too. Although, it will be slow, I am sure that change will come about and one day even a black man would have the chance of becoming the president of the United States of America. We both ought to be very grateful to Atticus. He defended you and also he respected me and didn't believe all the rumors which he heard about me.

Tom Robinson: I can only hope, Arthur. I can only hope. How is it that you seem so cheerful when you have had a very dull, boring life-cooped up in one house??

Arthur Radley: That was the past, my friend. Now, I'm just happy to be able to move and not be stuck between four walls. Also, now I have you…you are my friend and you haven't judged me based on what you have heard about me and also you are someone who I know can sympathize with what I've felt and I can sympathize with what you are feeling.

Tom Robinson: Thank you Arthur. I feel the same way about you. I think it could also be because we both were victims of prejudice and in a sense crucified by the same society.

Arthur Radley: I guess so, Tom. I guess so.

Line Count: 140 Lines